UPDATE: Following an investigation that lasted several hours, the “suspicious” vehicle, which prompted the evacuation, was determined to be safe and the pier reopened around 7 PM.
PREVIOUS: Police are advising the public to stay clear of the Santa Monica Pier tonight after a bomb threat led to the historic landmark’s evacuation and closure. A vehicle parked at the pier had been investigated as “suspicious,” but the all-clear has been called on that. The entire 108-year-old structure remains shut down, however.
The incident began around 12:30 PM today when Santa Monica Police received a call from Hawthorne PD “regarding a potential bomb threat on our pier,” said Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the SMPD’s Public Information Officer. He said Culver City PD also received a call about a bomb on the pier and alerted Santa Monica officers. “We weren’t able to link that to any particular caller,” Rodriguez said. “Shortly after that, we decided to do a perimeter search of the pier. … We located a suspicious vehicle in [a parking] lot south of the pier. When we did that, we decided to evacuate the pier.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s bomb squad was on the scene.
Santa Monica Police are asking people who have cars parked in lots adjacent to the pier to “please be patient with us.” As of 7 PM, there was no word on when the Pier would be reopened. A scheduled nonpartisan debate at the pier that was to focus on local ballot measure and current issues has been canceled.