General Crime

Fake Grenade Found at Great Mall Transit Station

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The Santa Clara County sheriff’s bomb team confiscated a fake hand grenade found at a transit hub today that led to the evacuation of a bus next to the Great Mall in Milpitas. The device looked like a replica of a grenade that someone made at home, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. “It was similar to a grenade simulator device that upon impact would have a loud firecracker sound,” Cardoza said. Deputies with the bomb team answered a call at 3 p.m. about a suspicious package seen on a bus bench at the Great Mall/Main Light Rail Station at Great Mall Parkway and Main Street.

As a precaution, deputies ordered a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus near the package to be evacuated, Cardoza said. Bus and light rail service continued, but a portion of the station around the package was shut down, VTA spokeswoman Jennie Loft said The bomb team used an X-ray machine to peer into the package, Cardoza said. They found the grenade-like device inside had a wire sticking out of it. After determining the thing was practically harmless, deputies gave the all clear at 4:45 p.m., Cardoza said.

Investigators will try to interview witnesses and view surveillance video in hopes of finding the person suspected of leaving it at the transit station, Cardoza said. The person could face a charge of possessing an explosive device or an illegal firecracker, Cardoza said. The faux grenade will be examined as evidence and eventually destroyed, he said. Light-rail trains that operate on elevated tracks at the station continued to operate without interruption, Loft said. The light rail station also serves as a stop for 10 bus lines, according to the VTA’s website. Buses were rerouted to the street at Great Mall Parkway, Loft said.

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