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Suspicious device forces evacuation in Hermosa Beach

January 8, 2012 | 11:23 pm

Hermosa bomb scare

About 40 homes and a good stretch of beach were evacuated for two hours Sunday while the bomb squad exploded what turned out to be a coconut, duct tape and some metal, a Hermosa Beach police spokesman said.

A visitor to the beach called police Sunday afternoon to report what looked like a bomb at the waterline. Local police and fire crews arrived, along with the Los Angeles County bomb squad, Sgt. Robert Higgins said.

"We came out and determined it was of a suspicious enough nature that we called out the bomb squad," he said. "They determined it was suspicious enough to detonate it in place, which is what they did using small explosives."

As it turned out, the "bomb" was a couple of pieces of metal secured to a coconut with duct tape.

"It really did look like a bomb," Higgins said. "Our theory is it was perhaps a weight for a lobster net or a fishing net, a homemade one."

Officials say that if the coconut was a fishing weight, it could have been dredged up onshore by the recent big surf.

Higgins said the beach and adjacent homes were evacuated out of an abundance of caution.

"It was a whole big to-do, but it ended up being nothing," he said. "In this day and age, you can never be too careful."

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--Lisa Girion

Photo: The beach at Hermosa was put off-limits while police investigated a suspicious device that turned out to be a homemade anchor. Credit: KTLA

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