Bomb scare prompts evacuation at Santa Barbara Courthouse

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department

Deputies evacuated the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Friday morning as the Sheriff’s Department bomb squad investigated a suspicious bag found in the building around 9 a.m.

The evacuation was lifted at noon for the main building at 1100 Anacapa St., and the Sheriff’s Department said the owner of the object, a cloth messenger bag, came forward and “claimed to have left it there.”

Nearby streets were closed during the law enforcement response, and the bomb squad used its robot to examine the bag.

“This incident is a great example of why you should never leave a bag unattended,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

The Santa Barbara Courthouse has criminal and civil courtrooms, as well as administrative offices and a visitor’s information desk for tourists who frequently visit the building and head up the clock tower for views of the city and the coast.

The adjacent Figueroa Courthouse was not evacuated during the response, Hoover said.

This false alarm comes two weeks after a false bomb threat caused evacuations of the County Administration Building, at 105 E. Anapamu St., during a budget workshop.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNewsand @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.
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