UPDATE 3/22 5:45 P.M. Kern County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the southwest Bakersfield to investigate a suspicious briefcase that was left near the front door of a home Thursday morning.
Deputies responded to the location at Reno Avenue and Stine Road around 7 a.m. Deputies had the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad dispatched.
Nearby homes were being evacuated around 10 a.m.. Based on the near proximity of the suspicious item, Curran Middle School was preventatively placed on lockdown.
The California Highway Patrol temporarily closed the intersections of Reno Street at Stine Road and Reno Street at Lymric Way.
Curran Middle School parents received a robo call notifying them of the lockdown. "If it had just been a lockdown without what's previously going on in the news, I may of stayed at work and just checked up on her later," said Killee Johnson, Curran Middle School parent. Johnson and other parents were concerned about the lockdown because of the recent package bombings in Austin, Texas.
Around 11:30 a.m., KCSO said the lockdown was lifted. The briefcase was determined to not be explosive and the initial circumstances were determined to not be suspicious.
The owner of the briefcase was not found. The briefcase was originally found near a car before a neighbor moved it near another resident's home thinking it belonged to them. KCSO said it did not.
According the owner of the house, artwork was found in the briefcase.
Anyone with information is asked to call KCSO at 661-861-3110.