Bomb threat is double whammy
RUBICON – A bomb scare that closed portions of Highway 89 on the West Shore Friday may have been part of an escape plan for two armed robbery suspects from South Lake Tahoe, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“It appears that it may have been a diversion for an armed robbery at the South Lake Tahoe Subway at the Y Thursday night,” said Sgt. Roman Vondriska.
A ’90s model, white Honda CRX was discovered abandoned in the northbound lane of Highway 89 in Rubicon around 7:30 a.m. Friday by a CalTrans worker. When CHP officer Chuck Brothes arrived on the scene at 8 a.m., he discovered what he described as a suspicious looking device in the center console of the vehicle and immediately closed off the area and notified the El Dorado County bomb squad.
“(The device) was about the circumference of your thumb and 2 inches long, tightly wrapped in black electric tape,” said Brothes. “Not knowing what it was we cleared the area out and notified the bomb squad.”
The device also had a cell phone antenna attached to it and two wires coming out of the top,which didn’t lead to anywhere in the car, said Brothes.
Traffic along Highway 89 was redirected around the scene for more than four hours while the El Dorado County bomb squad investigated. However, the device turned out to be nothing more than a couple of bottles of liquid correction wrapped in electrical tape, said Vondriska.
“It was definitely meant to look like (a pipe bomb), probably as a diversion for the robbery,” he said.
The South Lake Tahoe Police impounded the vehicle to compare fingerprints with those from the armed robbery. Police later discovered that the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the week in Santa Cruz, Calif.
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