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Suspicious Device Forces Evacuations at Shopping Center

A passerby reported seeing the device in an area parking lot.

A suspicious device that caused the evacuation of a busy Winco/Walmart shopping center in Phillips Ranch turned out to be harmless, officials said Tuesday.

Pomona Police said they got a report of a suspicious item that resembled a pipe bomb about 4 p.m. in one of the parking lots in the area of 68 Rio Rancho.

Officers, Los Angeles County Fire crews and members of the county bomb squad responded and businesses in the area were evacuated.

“Until the bomb squad responded, we didn’t know if it was a real device,” said Pomona Police Lt. Mike Keltner.

A robot was used to place the device in a container where it destroyed, Keltner said. Bomb squad officials found no explosives in the device, Keltner said.

Authorities cleared the area was cleared sometime after 6:30 p.m., Keltner said.

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