(Above left) The Sheriff’s Bomb Unit was notified and Detective Darren Smith and Sgt. Paul Higgason responded to the scene. Detective Smith carries the water cannon across Santa Barbara Street and approached an unknown case that turned out to be a Smith Corona electric typewriter. (Above right) Detective Darren Smith places the water cannon, making sure it was placed correctly. (Inset) This is what is left of the Smith Corona typewriter following detonation of the water cannon.

Suspicious Railroad Plaza package detonated, found to be harmless

September 16, 2009
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe report of a suspicious package near the Gazebo in Railroad Plaza Thursday led to a Santa Paula Police investigation and the services of the Ventura County Bomb Unit, which after detonating the container found it did not hold an explosive. According to Senior Officer Jeremy Watson, the SPPD received the report of a “suspicious package” in Railroad Plaza on September 10 at 10:44 a.m.“Officers arrived on scene and found a gray, hard, box-type container” located on the ground next to a refuse bin situated just northwest of the Gazebo. “It looked like a typewriter carrying case,” an object Watson said a transient stated to officers he had observed the previous afternoon.The area was isolated with police caution tape, and foot traffic through Railroad Plaza was diverted. Officers also blocked Santa Barbara Street at Mill Street and traffic directed away from the location.
“For safety and security reasons” the VCSD Bomb Unit was notified, and Detective Darren Smith and Sergeant Paul Higgason responded to the scene. Smith donned a protective turnout and handled the placement of the water cannon and cleared the scene before it was detonated by Higgason.Watson said the loud explosion rendered the package safe for examination, and the contents were found to be what was left of an electronic typewriter. “For the safety of the public,” noted Watson, “the SPPD took the appropriate steps to dispose of the package” to make certain it did not contain an explosive device.

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