LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A “suspicious item” found on a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus today in the Del Rey area of Los Angeles was left over from a weekend exercise, and was supposed to have been removed from the vehicle before it was placed back into service, a company spokesperson said.
Los Angeles police cordoned off the bus on a street in the area of Culver Boulevard and Centinela Avenue some time around 9 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The area was declared safe a short time later.
According to Suja Lowenthal, of the bus company, the driver was unaware that the item had been left on the bus from the weekend exercise, and noticed this morning and notified authorities. She spoke with Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee:
The bus was one of several used during the weekend as part of a regional “Roadeo” competition involving bus companies from Santa Monica, Torrance, Culver City, Montebello and Gardena, Lowenthal said.
Drivers were graded on a number of skills, including thoroughness in performing a “pre-trip inspection” of their bus, Lowenthal said. Some “suspicious items” were intentionally left on the buses to see if the drivers found them, but all were supposed to have been removed before the buses were placed back in service, Lowenthal said.