Bomb team deems device not dangerous - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Bomb team deems device not dangerous

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

A suspicious device, thought to be a bomb, turned out to be just a broken part of a newspaper dispenser. The scare happened at around 7 Wednesday morning at the Longview IHOP, off of Loop 281 and Tuttle street.

Police quickly cordoned off the area and evacuated workers from both IHOP and Lubys. A customer spotted a device with wires and connections inside a newspaper machine.

"I got a call myself from the local sheriff here and he informed me of what they had, and they had a cordon set up," said Air Force Technical Sergeant Bart Matthews of the Barksdale EOD Bomb Disposal Team.

"We set up, we'll take to people who either found it or saw it, get pictures of it , try to get as much information as we can before we go down, in the mean time local authorities are trying to find maybe the person who put this here might have left it here and they haven't found them yet," the sergeant said.

With bystanders led well away, a remote controlled probe was sent in to determine whether the device was motion sensitive.

"We're going to use our robotics try to make a remote entry try to stay away from it as much as we can. Its a coin operated machine so we did have to send someone down there to put quarters in," Matthews says.

The suspected device, turned out to be the coin acceptor for a newspaper rack. To the untrained eye, wires , connections , a battery, it looked like a bomb.

"It was not a device it was just some electronics which we assumed were the inner workings of the machine. Somebody saw it and it had wires and looked like batteries and they made a good judgement call," Matthews says.

IHOP, and neighboring Luby's cafeteria, reopened shortly after the investigation. Investigators believe the coin acceptor simply broke off inside.

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