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Pipe Bomb in Northridge Area Prompts Evacuations, Bomb Squad Response

A pipe bomb found in a vehicle pulled over by police in the Northridge area on Wednesday afternoon prompted local businesses to be evacuated, traffic to be diverted and brought a bomb squad to the scene.

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Police responded to the Northridge area after a report of a suspicious package. (Credit: KTLA)

The bomb had been detonated by a bomb squad and officers were clearing the vehicle to ensure no other explosive devices were in the car, LAPD Capt. Stephen Carmona said.

When officers pulled over a vehicle with Nevada plates for driving erratically, they found the driver to appear ” a little bit under the influence of narcotics” and they spotted “burglary tools” in the vehicle, Carmona said.

After the man was taken into custody on suspicion of narcotics possession, officers began to examine the vehicle, which appeared in aerial video to be a maroon SUV.

“While clearing car of burglary tools, they observed the pipe bomb, which was on the floor board between the suspect’s legs,” Carmona said.

A responding bomb squad used a robot to remove the device and then detonate it nearby, Carmona said. People in the area, which is near the Los Angeles Police Department’s Devonshire Station,  heard an explosion.

A large perimeter was established around the spot where the SUV was pulled over — an Arco gas station at Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard (map). The station was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape.

Traffic was being diverted from the area, and local businesses were evacuated, an LAPD watch commander said.

Both Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard were blocked to vehicle traffic for several blocks, video from Sky5 showed.

The incident was first reported at 12:30 p.m. and traffic was blocked for several hours.

“We always have to assume there are other devices in the car,” Carmona said.

It was not known why the man had a pipe bomb.

After 5 p.m., police were responding to another report of a suspicious package about 5 miles away at Corbin Avenue and Sherman Way in Winnetka (map), according to LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.

The item was found next to a light post, and a bomb squad was en route, Neiman said.

KTLA’s Alberto Mendez contributed to this article.

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A bomb squad responded to the incident in the Northridge area on March 19, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)