BREA — Hundreds of Christmas shoppers were evacuated from the northern wing of the Brea Mall Saturday afternoon after authorities received an anonymous bomb threat and discovered a "suspicious" package.
No arrests or injuries were reported from the incident, which turned out to be a hoax.
The scare at the 180-store mall came after similar evacuations were made at malls in Glendale and Carson recently. The Glendale incident Wednesday proved to be a hoax, but authorities disposed of a bomb found in the Carson Mall Dec. 2.
Brea police could not say Saturday whether the three incidents were related.
"You can't rule it out," said Police Lt. Douglas Dickerson. "There's no reason to suspect a connection, but this kind of thing is very easy to copy."
About noon, Brea police received a 911 telephone call claiming "multiple bombs" were stashed in the mall, Dickerson said. Police and mall security soon discovered a "suspicious package" in the Robinsons-May department store and began herding shoppers and employees from a 20-store area about 2:30 p.m., officials said.