An investigation into a suspicious object led to evacuations and a road closure at the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex on Wednesday before authorities determined it was a student’s forgotten lunch box, according to the Lompoc Police Department.
Santa Lucia Canyon Road was closed between Lompoc and Highway 1 due to the activity, said Sgt. Kevin Martin.
“We are investigating a suspicious package/device found on a school bus,” Martin said. “The bus is in the prison housing area.”
Students were not on the bus when the incident was reported to police at 8:14 a.m., Martin said.
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Residents of prison housing, correctional officers and their families were evacuated as a precaution.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad showed up to assess the device, Martin said.
As bomb squad members began X-raying the object, authorities learned a student has left a lunch box behind on the bus.
An X-ray revealed the lunch box — an ammo can — contained nothing more dangerous than the student's meal, Martin added.
The bomb squad did not detonate the object since the contents were deemed safe.
Martin did not say which school the student attended or reveal the student's grade.
Santa Lucia Road reopened at approximately 12:30 p.m., Martin said.
The Lompoc federal prison site includes both a U.S. Penitentiary, a Federal Correctional Institution and a satellite prison camp housing a total of 2,600 male inmates.