A bomb scare in front of the I.V. Foot Patrol office last Sunday shook up business as usual on Pardall Road, and could be tied to another investigation by the UC Police Dept.
After observing a suspicious metal box on the sidewalk, police taped off access to the road and sent a bomb squad to investigate. The box did not contain explosives, but IVFP Senior Deputy Mark Williams said that it and its contents – spray cans, paint brushes and a note – have been turned over to the UCPD.
Sgt. Erik Raney, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. public information officer, said UCPD has recently made multiple vandalism arrests, and the person who wrote the note claimed to have seen the arrested individuals with this toolbox.
UCPD Detective Daniel Mathy did not confirm a relationship between the contents of the box and the vandalism case.
Williams said the note did not say who placed the toolbox in front of the IVFP station.
“UCPD is investigating some cases involving vandalism, so we believe it was left for them in front of our place,” Williams said.
Despite the closure of a major road, the presence of a bomb squad and multiple police cars, most I.V. residents went peacefully about their day during the scare. A crowd of students inside the Study Hall drank a few beers and watched the spectacle across the street while the line at Freebirds continued winding outside.
Williams said the ordeal lasted about five hours. Bomb threats are rare in I.V., and it has been a long time since the last scare at the IVFP station.
If the note had not been hidden inside the toolbox, Raney said, it would not have caused suspicion, and the bomb squad would not have been called out.
“I wish they had left the note on the outside,” Raney said.
Williams said the bomb squad X-rayed the box to check its contents before opening it.
“No note or anything attached to it, so they considered it suspicious, so we went and just took precautions,” Williams said.