Recent Amtrak bomb threats spurred downtown evacuation | SierraSun.com

Recent Amtrak bomb threats spurred downtown evacuation

Staff reports

A suspicious suitcase found Thursday afternoon at the downtown Truckee train station held clothing and phone numbers.

Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry said that the location of the suspicious case ” stuffed between a gas line and the Amtrak depot in downtown Truckee ” and earlier communications with Amtrak forced the decision to shutdown Truckee’s Commercial Row for about four hours Thursday night.

“The case was not just set on the ground outside, but stuffed into place,” Berry said in a letter to Commercial Row merchants who were forced to close on Cinco de Mayo. “Due to the nature of the suitcase being abandoned, coupled with recent bomb threats made towards Amtrak, and teletypes sent out by Amtrak to be on the lookout for suspicious articles around train depots, the Fire Department and Police Department decided to handle this event as a possible bomb.”

Berry said the CHP bomb dog and Placer County Explosive Ordinance Detail responded to the scene. The suitcase was first X-rayed using Placer County equipment and then moved to a location in the parking lot just west of the depot and opened with a water cannon.

“We found no explosives but located clothing and phone numbers,” Berry said.

Using the phone numbers, officers located the parents of the possible owner of the suitcase in Las Vegas.

“We were told their son was involved in a roll over traffic accident in the Sacramento area earlier in the day and was taking the Greyhound bus back to Las Vegas,” Berry said. “It appears he transferred buses in Truckee and for some reason stuffed his suitcase under the gas main leading into the building and forgot it.”

Berry said officers planned on speaking with the owner of the suitcase Friday when he arrived in Las Vegas.