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Fake Bomb Being Treated as Racial Crime

January 23, 1991

Los Angeles police technicians Tuesday blew up a phony bomb found attached to a black employee's car that had been painted with racial slurs outside a Granada Hills supermarket.

Police were investigating the incident as a racially motivated crime.

An employee at the Hughes Market, 16940 Devonshire Blvd., who was not identified, said he received an anonymous telephone threat that his Nissan 240Z was going to be blown up, Sgt. David Clinton said.

The employee called the police shortly before 11 a.m. when he found racial slurs and the letters "KKK" spray-painted on the auto, and what appeared to be a bomb with a timing device dangling from the undercarriage.

The bomb squad removed the device and destroyed it with an explosive charge before discovering it was a fake. Police evacuated the 24-hour market and closed off the parking lot and intersection of Devonshire Street and Balboa Boulevard while investigating the bomb threat.

The owner of the car said he did not recognize the caller's voice, Clinton said.

A Hughes Market spokesman, Harland Polk, said he did not know what could have prompted the threats against the store's employee.

The case was turned over to detectives of the department's criminal conspiracy section, which handles bomb threats.

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