Suspicious Package Closes Highway 50 for 2 Hours

South Lake Tahoe, CA…At about 5:14 pm, on June 19, 2012, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department received a report of a suspicious package located at the bus stop on Highway 50 in front of the Safeway Supermarket. Officer Ric Martinez responded and found a large dark colored piece of luggage, about two feet wide, four feet long and two feet deep. There was a note attached to the luggage directed to gain a law enforcement response to the package. In part, the unsigned note accused specific Federal, County, and City law enforcement and court officials in the mid-west of committing a violent crime against the unknown person who had left the package.

South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Aaron Crawford, an explosives expert, also responded to the scene. Officer Crawford agreed that the package and the note were suspicious in nature, and if a package of that size contained explosives, it could cause extensive damage to a wide area. The Douglas County Bomb Squad was called to the scene for further investigation as the police department was forced to close U.S. 50, the Safeway Supermarket and evacuate all the rooms of the Best Western Timber Cove Lodge that faced U.S. 50, in order to ensure public safety until the package could more closely be examined.

When the bomb squad arrived they were able to x-ray the package, which revealed indistinguishable contents. They were eventually able to use a robot to render the package safe. There was miscellaneous packaging, photographs and clothing in the container, but no explosives were found. After about two hours the roadway was re-opened, the Safeway Supermarket resumed business and the evacuation was lifted from the Timber Cove Lodge.