The Long Beach Public Library and Starbucks were evacuated on Wednesday afternoon, after Long Beach police said that a suspicious package was discovered in front of the library. But after an investigation, police determined that it was a false alarm, and that the bag contained only personal items.
Long Beach police called for a voluntary evacuation of the library, at 111. W. Park Ave., and Starbucks, at 101 W. Park Ave., after the package was discovered in front of the library shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The library, Starbucks and a deli next door complied, Cregeen said.
“We got a call of a suspicious package in the bushes in front of the library,” said Lt. Eric Cregeen, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department. Nassau County Bomb Squad reported to the scene, and the department decided to evacuate the library, Starbucks and the deli next door, he said. Cregeen said that the bomb squad was using an x-ray to determine whether the package posed a threat.
One eyewitness said who observed the police activity said that the sidewalk along Park Avenue, stretching from Starbucks to the library, was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
Cregeen said police followed proper protocol, and after investigation they found the luggage only contained personal items. It is currently at LBPD headquarters, and has yet to be claimed.
"It was a false alarm," said Cregeen. "But in the post-9/11 environment and under the guise of 'see something, say something,' we were glad that someone made the call and we were able to ensure everyone's safety in the area."
Library Director George Trepp said that library personnel and patrons were let back into the building after about an hour and a half. He added that after the police "neutralized" the scene, they discovered that the contents of the bag included only books, papers and an umbrella.