Bomb squad explodes lunchbox |

Bomb squad explodes lunchbox

Gregory Crofton

It was a power lunch, but it went off way before noon.

A black and white cooler containing someone’s gloves, food and a soda was blown to bits Thursday at 10:20 a.m. in front of the post office at Takela Drive and Sandy Way.

A customer called the police after they noticed the unattended cooler around 8:25 a.m.

Tahoe-Douglas Bomb Squad arrived and used a portable X-ray to look inside the cooler.

“We had a report of an ice chest sitting on the stoop of the post office,” said Tahoe-Douglas bomb technician Jim Antti. “We X-rayed it, but couldn’t identify what was inside of it so we disrupted it.”

With the street blocked off, the post office shut down, and its employees huddling in the cold weather outside a laundromat next door, Antti yelled “Fire in the hole,” three times. Then the area was rocked by a small explosion.

Antti had made a small wall with newspaper dispensers to contain the explosion. Nothing other than the cooler was damaged.

“It looked suspicious,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Sgt. Richard Munk. “Since we have the bomb squad on retainer, we took advantage of their service.”

Bob Niedermeier, a postal employee, said the cooler was the first suspicious item found in the five years he’d been working at the Sandy Way office.

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