MANTECA (CBS13) – Roads were shut down in Manteca on Monday as police investigated a suspicious device. It turned out to be a prank but caused a big backup in legitimate emergency calls.
The scare shut down a pair of roads and forced evacuations. The two-hour-long prank also put a strain on the small police department.
The bomb squad called this an elaborate and very realistic but fake explosive.
Police found what appeared to be a pair of dynamite sticks, wires, and even switches.
Someone called for help after spotting the device inside a plastic bag along Louise Avenue.
Officers say it looked like the real deal.
“So they secured the area and evacuated nearby residents that would be affected,” Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said.
Then the called in the pros. The San Joaquin Metro Bomb Squad detonated the device.
Every Manteca police officer was pulled in to help secure the neighborhood.
“It’s draining our resources,” Estarziau said. “It scares the neighbors.”
The four patrol officers that should have been answering calls for help were dealing with the bomb scare, creating a backlog of 911 calls.
“What makes it so difficult is now we have a dozen calls pending and that’s the citizens waiting who could have used our service,” Estarziau said.
Whoever left the device has not been identified.