See the update at the end of this post on the suspicious suitcase being opened and deemed harmless.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 21, 10:18 A.M.: Irvine Police have closed a stretch of Irvine Center Drive this morning as the sheriff's bomb squad examines a mysterious suitcase found alongside the road.
The unattended baggage was reported to police just before 7:10 a.m. near Enterprise and Irvine Center Drive, according to police Lt. Julia Engen, the department spokeswoman.
I recall talking with Engen about a mysterious briefcase found in the middle of Irvine Center Drive a couple years ago, very close to the latest discovery.
Today's find closed Irvine Center Drive in both directions between Alton Parkway and the 405 freeway.
"The suitcase was deemed suspicious because it was left unattended," Engen reportedly told City News Service.
As you'll recall from the briefcase comedian Todd Glass found in 2011, a Saudi Arabian passport, photocopies of the passport, credit cards, bank statements, hotel receipts, many airplane ticket stubs, Saudi Arabian cash notes and an apartment lease were inside. Glass pal and podcast sidekick Daniel Kinno thought the incident might make for a "based on true events" comedy caper movie.
Engen later informed no big whoop, the briefcase was reunited with its owner.
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UPDATE, AUG. 21, 2:18 P.M.: The sheriff's bomb squad deemed the suspicious suitcase found on Irvine Center Drive this morning harmless.
Deputies "used a couple of techniques to render the suitcase safe, including a controlled detonation," Lt. Julia Engen, the Irvine Police spokeswoman, reportedly told City News Service. "Nothing suspicious was found."
Irvine Center Drive was reopened in both directions around 10:50 a.m., which by then had been closed about four hours.