A pressure cooker that prompted a bomb squad to respond to the Islamic Center of Northridge Sunday night was left there by a congregant who hoped a homeless person could find use for it, police said Monday.
A bomb squad was sent to the mosque's location at 11439 Encino Ave. in Granada Hills after an employee discovered a suspicious bag on a sidewalk and reported it to police just after 8 p.m. Sunday.
“It contained a pressure cooker, which is uncommon to find just outside of a mosque,” Los Angeles Police Sgt. Cuartas said.
As a result, police evacuated the area and called in a bomb squad. “We took all precautions needed just in case,” Cuartas said.
The bomb squad ignited the pressure cooker, which turned out to be empty.
Around 5:30 a.m. Monday, detectives spoke with a person who identified themself as a congregant and said they left stuff out for homeless people to pick up — and they apparently didn't want the pressure cooker.
"The LAPD would like to remind the public that, while donations are appreciated, it is important to avoid leaving donations unattended," the department said in a news release. "Please secure the donation by leaving it with an attendant at the organization or house of worship."