News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Suspicious Device Investigated in Palo Alto Neighborhood
Contact : Agent Marianna Villaescusa, Police Department    650-329-2413
August 17, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.
Palo Alto, CA -- On Friday, August 17, 2012, at about 2:47 pm, officers from the Palo Alto Police Department responded to the 700 block of Maplewood Avenue on a report of suspicious item on the front lawn of a home. The suspicious item was a cylindrical bottle, wrapped in a gauzy material with metal clamps around it. Officers conducted an initial evaluation of the item and contacted the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad for assistance.

Due to the potential hazards associated with any type of possible explosive device, officers from the Palo Alto Police Department made contact with affected citizens either personally or via the AlertSCC telephone notification system. Police also distributed updates via Twitter. Due to the location of the device, no residents were evacuated. However, police directed residents of approximately 17 homes nearest the suspicious device to remain in their homes away from their windows. Homes and businesses not in the affected area were not notified since they were in no danger.

Both vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the 700 block of Maplewood Avenue between Seminole Way and Sutherland Drive was shut down for approximately 5 1/2 hours.

Technicians from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad examined the device. For safety reasons, they destroyed the device at approximately 7:42 p.m. Their investigation revealed the device was inert, however determined it was a device used to make illegal narcotics. Traffic was opened shortly thereafter.

Residents can sign up for the AlertSCC telephone notification system by registering for free at Residents are also encouraged to follow the Palo Alto Police Department on Twitter at @PaloAltoPolice, on Facebook at, on Nixle at, or on rBlock at

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department will be conducting follow-up investigation into this case. Anyone with information is encouraged to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.