SUNSET PARK — Local police called in the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Disposal Unit Sunday night to deal with a grenade and flares found amongst the belongings of a deceased veteran.
The Santa Monica Police Department was called in at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday evening to help with a suspicious box found by a building manager as she cleaned out a garage that had been rented by an elderly gentleman who died recently, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesperson for the SMPD.
“The elderly resident was a veteran and had used the garage to store his personal items as well as souvenirs and memorabilia from his military service,” Lewis said.
That included flares and a “pineapple” grenade, an explosive device with an outer shell that becomes shrapnel when detonated, typical of the World War II or Vietnam eras.
“Once we observed the contents … either LAPD or the (Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department) bomb squads are notified and respond,” Lewis said.
The bomb squad got the call at 7:22 p.m., said Norma Eisenman, a spokesperson for the LAPD.
When they responded, they found an empty grenade with nothing explosive. It was “rendered safe” by 8:50 p.m. Eisenman said.
In the meantime, a small group of residents who lived adjacent to the garage were asked to evacuate for a short time.
The SMPD responds to a couple of calls for grenades and explosive devices each year, Lewis said.
“It was dangerous, but nothing malicious,” he said.