No Bomb at Surf City Starbucks; Powder at Costa Mesa AAA HQ Likely Not Hazardous

Categories: Breaking News

See Update No. 3 at the bottom of the next page on the device in Huntington Beach turning out not to be explosive but there being something to the earlier report of a "commotion" at AAA headquarters in Costa Mesa. Update No. 2 is on the first report of the Surf City bomb scare. Update No. 1 was on the Costa Mesa report.

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ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 16, 12:23 P.M.: A reader claims some kind of commotion is coming from the Southern California Automobile Club (AAA) headquarters in Costa Mesa, where there are apparently police, FBI agents and a bomb squad right now.

We are awaiting confirmation from the Costa Mesa Police Department, but ...

... from my perch about a half-mile away I can hear helicopters flying overhead in that direction.

The offices are at 3350 Harbor Blvd., off South Coast Drive.

Check back for an update(s).

UPDATE NO. 1, DEC. 16, 1:13 P.M.: I just drove around the Auto Club headquarters, which is actually at Fairview Road and South Coast Drive, as well as the AAA branch off Harbor Boulevard near South Coast and saw no such commotion.

I did see a couple police officers, but they seemed to be looking around as well. I had previously contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department to solicit confirmation of what the reader claimed.

Will update again if anything new comes but for now this seems to be a false alarm.

UPDATE NO. 2, DEC. 16, 3:32 P.M.: This just in from City News Service:

"Orange County bomb squad investigators are checking a suspicious device left at a Starbucks coffee store at Brookhurst Street and Adams Avenue in Huntington Beach, police say. The area has been evacuated as investigators check the device."

Stay tuned ...

UPDATE NO. 3, DEC. 16, 4:38 P.M.: Huntington Beach Police say investigators have determined that the suspicious device at the Starbucks at Brookhurst and Adams was not an explosive.

But it turns out there was something to the report that the sheriff's bomb squad was out earlier in the day at the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the mail room at the offices at 3333 Fairview Road reported discovering an envelope with a possible powdery substance inside, according to Lt. Greg Scott of the Costa Mesa Police Department. That brought out police from that agency, the bomb squad, the fire department, the FBI and the county's Hazmat unit, Scott confirmed.

Testing done in the field determined the substance was non-hazardous but it was taken to the county health lab for further tests, according to Scott.

No evacuations were ordered during all this at the AAA, which seemed pretty calm with workers taking lunchtime walks when I drove around there.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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