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Bomb scare brings downtown Red Bluff to a halt

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Apr 28 2014 07:59:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 28 2014 09:44:06 PM CDT
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

Much of downtown Red Bluff was locked down Monday morning after the discovery of two suspicious devices, resembling pipe bombs, launched a call to the bomb squad. 

The first device was found around 6:30 a.m. by a court security guard.

"Almost simultaneously a good Samaritan had taken the second device, which they had found here at the courthouse, over to the police department," said Lieutenant Yvette Borden with the Tehama County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities immediately put a 10 block downtown area on lock down, including streets surrounding the Tehama County court complex and Red Bluff police station.

"It looks a lot like a pipe bomb type instrument and there is wires visible," Borden said.

Due to the severity of the situation and the appearance of the devices, the Shasta County Bomb Squad responded and deployed a robot, which was first sent in to survey the device near the Red Bluff Police Station. The device was destroyed using a water cannon, rendering it safe around 10 a.m.

An hour later they performed the same process at the court building near the corner of Pine and Jefferson Streets.

Authorities then searched the entire area for any additional devices, finding none and reopening the area around 12:30 p.m.

Oddly enough, this is the second time a shutdown of this type has been forced in the last month.

"The first incident were documents that were left so this is actually the first suspicious device we've had," said Caryn Downing, a Court Executive with Tehama County Courts.

All court proceedings were cancelled before noon and officials were determining how they would go about rescheduling court appearances.

Despite the six hour lock down and safety precautions, in the end, the devices were determined not to be real pipe bombs but elaborate lookalikes.

"Safety's key. Safety's number one," Lt. Borden said. "Human life would be tragic to lose."

Tehama County Secret Witness is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and subsequent conviction of whoever is responsible for the incident. They can be contacted by calling (530) 529-1268.