LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A bomb squad sent to the oldest synagogue in Los Angeles today in response to a bomb threat phoned into the house of worship declared the grounds safe after a search, then spent hours investigating a bogus threat involving a patrol car parked in the area.
Police were first sent to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., about 2 a.m. after a call was received threatening that "a device was on the grounds," LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.
"We found nothing on the temple grounds, so the (police) units cleared," Lopez said. "Some time later that morning, about 8 ... we received two calls from ... a male voice who indicated that a police vehicle was targeted with an explosive device."
Police used a "Bat Cat" fork lift to lift the patrol car and check underneath. Bomb squad personnel also used explosives to blow out the rear window and open the trunk, but no explosives were found. The whole operation took about an hour.
Officer Luis Garcia said the police car had been parked in the neighborhood as a "decoy" for a couple of days as a way to deter crime in the area.
Howard Kaplan, executive director of the temple, said the LAPD fully investigated the bomb threat and all activities at the temple were canceled for the day "out of an abundance of caution."
About 20-40 people were evacuated from the area while the threats were being investigated, and traffic was kept out of a perimeter bounded by Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Kingsley Drive on the east, Sixth Street on the north and Hobart Boulevard on the west, Lopez said.