The fear of a possible bomb in an unattended package left at Chase Bank’s downtown branch shortly before 5 p.m. Monday closed two blocks of West Center Street to traffic and brought out bomb squads from Manteca and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
The box measuring some 12 by 40 inches had been left just inside and to the left of the door to the bank lobby entering off of the north parking lot by a man said to be between 25 and 35 years old. Patrol units cordoned off the area to traffic with officers on North Maple Avenue and at Main Street and just to the east of the Manteca Library in an effort to protect the public from a potential explosion.
Officers said they were especially cautious because of the two packages that exploded in Texas communities this week – packages that had been left on the porches of homes by unknown persons. Police volunteers kept flare patterns lit across Center Street as it was getting dark.
Once both teams were formed in the alley way north of the Post Office, a robot was used to carry the box into the bank parking lot where a small explosive was used to destroy the box that officers said held only a T-shirt and some books. The explosion could be heard for more than a block away as the squad announced an all clear report.
The street was closed for about an hour and a half when officers reopened the street.
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