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UPDATE: Movie prop 'suicide vest' sparked bomb scare

Posted: June 25, 2014 2:54 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2014 5:18 p.m.

A Sheriff's Arson/Explosives robot is sent to investigate a suspicious package in the parking lot area of Whole Foods Market and Kohl's in Valencia Monday evening. Signal photo by Austin Dave.

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The suspicious-looking vest that sparked Monday’s four-hour bomb scare in Valencia did exactly what it was supposed to do — mimic a “suicide vest” — because it was a movie prop stolen from a Santa Clarita Valley home, a sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.

Detectives investigating the stolen car in which the “highly suspicious” vest was found discovered it belongs to a movie industry prop-maker who designed the garment to look like the real thing, according to Deputy Josh Dubin.

“It was designed specifically to look like an explosive device,” the deputy said.

Dubin described the garment as a “vest with wires sticking out of it.”

The vest was among “highly suspicious” items found in a stolen car parked at the Valencia Crossroads shopping center on McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard about 5:30 p.m. Monday. The car, a burgundy-colored Toyota Camry, had just been reported stolen from nearby Del Monte Drive.

The discovery prompted deputies to act on safety concerns, cordon off the parking lot and evacuate nearby stores and restaurants. Deputies later expanded the evacuation area when they found a second “suspicious package” in the same parking lot.

“Detectives following up on the stolen vehicle determined that the vest found in the car, and also a computer and some personal items, were property stolen in other residential burglaries in the area,” Dubin said.

The investigation has now shifted from the stolen car to the home burglaries in Valencia.

“They’re now working with the victim of the stolen vest and are now looking into other items, such as electronics, that were stolen,” Dubin said.

The vest-maker has been cooperating with investigators and has assured them he secured the garment in his home, he said.

Almost four hours after the bomb scare began Monday, the two suspicious packages were “rendered safe” by deputies. The second package contained some clothes and a duffle bag.

jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
On Twitter
@jamesarthurholt

 

 

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