A suspicious package that turned out to be nothing more than an abandoned suitcase filled with socks and coins prompted the Dept. of Public Safety to send out a Trojans Alert on Monday afternoon. The alert warned individuals to stay away from the area of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard.
The Trojans Alert system allows DPS to send out emergency messages to members of the USC community.
Los Angeles Police Department received a phone call that a suspicious package was left near the Tuscany apartments, according to DPS Capt. David Carlisle. The caller was a pedestrian who had walked by the area and seen the bag, Carlisle said.
“At about 12:15 [p.m.] we got a call that on the 37th block of South Figueroa there was an unattended suitcase left there for a while,” said Christopher Ngo, a LAPD media relations spokesperson.
The Trojans Alert was then released at approximately at 1:23 p.m. because of DPS’ concerns over student safety as LAPD was called to the scene for precautionary measures.
“When we discovered that [LAPD was] blocking the street, we decided that it was appropriate to notify our students to stay out of that area,” Carlisle said.
After officers were unable to identify the bag’s owner, they called the LAPD bomb squad to the scene to further investigate the package’s contents, according to Ngo.
“Officers arrived at the location and observed the suitcase, then called the bomb squad, which responded around 12:54 [p.m.] and checked the surrounding area,” Ngo said.
A second Trojan Alert message was sent out at approximately 1:29 p.m. — just minutes after the first alert — stating that it was safe to return to the area and that police activity was over.
“They went in and searched the briefcase and found nothing,” Ngo said. “All that was found inside the bag was socks and coins.”
This is the second instance of a suspicious package left near the University Park Campus this month.
A package was left on April 18 near the entrance at McClintock and Jefferson avenues, and the campus was blocked off from the Waite Phillips Hall to the Lyon Center. As the LAPD bomb squad was en route to campus, the package was determined to be just a black bookbag.