Suspicious Package Prompts Bomb Scare at Whole Foods Playa Vista

Posted August 27, 2015 by Joe Piasecki in News

Police evacuate area and destroy black gym bag with ‘red type of voltage meter’

By Gary Walker

PVbombscare1A bomb scare at Whole Foods Playa Vista on Thursday afternoon prompted evacuations in the area and shut down eastbound traffic along Jefferson Boulevard for more than three hours.

LAPD patrol and Bomb Squad officers arrived on scene at about 2:30 p.m. after a customer noticed a suspicious package on the lower level of the Whole Foods parking structure and notified a store security guard, who called 911.

After determining that the package was suspicious, police began evacuating Whole Foods, the adjacent Cinemark Playa Vista and nearby Playa Vista residents, LAPD Sgt. Art Gallegos said.

“Our Bomb Squad was notified; they arrived and investigated the package and rendered it safe. It looked similar to a bomb, but it was not a bomb,” Gallegos said.

Gallegos described the suspicious package as a black gym bag “with a red type of voltage meter.”

Bomb Squad officers were unable to open the bag and used C-4 explosives and a robot to detonate the bag.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics also responded to the scene, and at 3 p.m. parking enforcement officers began closing Jefferson from Beethoven Street to Centinela Avenue. Jefferson was reopened to eastbound traffic at about 6:15 p.m.

Students attending an after-school program at Animo Westside Charter Middle School were placed on lockdown during the bomb investigation. At about 3:30 p.m., a group of teachers led the students to a field next to a storage company while they placed calls to the students’ parents.

Playa Vista residents invited many Whole Foods employees into their homes during the evacuation, said Whole Foods assistant store team leader Patrick McManama.

“It was really neat to see how the community came together around us. Many of them allowed us to use their restrooms and gave our team members water and showed a lot of concern. That was really great to see,” he said.

Even though the package turned out not to be a bomb, Gallegos said it’s better to play it safe than be sorry later.

“Given the times that we’re in, I would encourage any citizen who observes anything suspicious that they call 911 and let us handle it,” Gallegos said.



    It was crazy when I was at my school animo westside charter middle school people were terrified and some of the kids were crying due to the bomb threat


      Well then, you should instruct your teachers to teach the difference between fear and real danger. There wasn’t a bomb – ever. There was a black bag with a voltage meter on it. It probably belonged to a workman since that entire area is still in construction – even part of that garage. There was never any danger. But people start to be afraid and create stories that are based on their emotions, not reality, not what’s actually taking place. All that happened was that police investigated and destroyed a bag because it’s better to be safe. But I’ll bet everyone reading this described the event based on what they feared was happening and not what was actually happening. And, now you and everyone else are afraid of a story you created in your head and are believing as if it is real. But it’s not. This way of thinking can be applied to just about every aspect of one’s life.


        That’s the world we live in. People need to get a grip. Human beings are terrible at assessing real probabilities when it come to danger.

        Retired teacher

        Actually, it turns out that the bag was left by a disgruntled fired worker who has been making threats to PV employees and has also been harassing the elementary school.

        They had also called in a bomb threat the day before.

        The person who left the bag is considered by police to be potentially armed and dangerous.

        While the person did not actually create a working bomb, the intent to harm others was clear.

        YOU are the one who needs to stop telling people to be relaxed. The world we live in IS a dangerous one, and there are SO MANY CHILDREN in Playa Vista that it is especially alarming.

    hayley and skylar

    I was at school and i was terrified for my life. This happens the one time I choose to study after school.


    Dude it was crazy at our school


    retired teacher… you are speaking out of your ass. there was no bomb threat from the fired worker, in fact. PV planned this little stunt to bring upon crimminal charges to the person who had not been paid for work done at PV. get your story straight before you go suggesting thst people were being harrased and threstened… truth is PV project stole from this person and they would find anythin to put him behind bars in order to not loose jobs. he was t fired. he was wrongfully terminated because he woldnt work on a saturday. Russel Ray Dion, Manuel Gonzales, and Justin Holt put this stunt together to not be held accountsble for the lawsuit brought atainst them for religous discrimination.

    the person who was ” fired” was not armed and is not dangerous. it is his right to expose a billion dollar monster that would not pay him for work.

    in other words. fuck you for making people believe that he was at fault. the FBI saw into the bomb threat and madr conclussions that it was faul play within PV to potencially get him behind bars. shame on this project. shame onAustin Commercial for endorsing acts of terrorism as opposed to paying individuals whom they conspire against.

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