Laser found in van prompts bomb scare at tow yard

SAN DIEGO – Authorities blocked off streets in Kearny Mesa Tuesday after suspicious materials were discovered inside a van, fire officials said.

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California Highway Patrol officers were called to Kearny Mesa Towing on the 7500 block of Ronson Road Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. to investigate a burglary, San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief John Fisher said. Officers found the materials in a van on the lot and called bomb and arson units.

“There was one device, an electronic device with batteries and wires around it and two locked boxes that one of the dogs hit on,” said Fisher.

A bomb and arson robot was used to probe the vehicle and blew up the device around 4:15 p.m.

The materials, at one point reported to be blasting caps, turned out to be harmless electronics. It appeared to be some sort or “jerry-rigged” homemade laser, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.

“They were in a van someone had been living in – so there was a lot of other material in the van as well.  It was difficult for the bomb technician to get in there and move through there to take care of business,” said Fisher.

The owner of the tow yard told Fox 5 a man reported a bag of electronic devices missing from his car that had been towed in after a crash.