CHATSWORTH — Police evacuated about 30 homes and called in a military bomb squad after a device believed to be a military bomb began smoking Saturday in a Chatsworth man's back yard, authorities said.
The man reportedly found the device a week ago in the desert near Edward's Air Force Base and brought it back to his home in the 10300 block of Owensmouth Avenue.
"We have no idea why he brought it back," said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Arthur Holmes. "That's a mystery. He brought it back on his own free will. We just don't know what it is. It's out of our area of expertise."
Bomb experts stationed at Camp Pendleton were flown to Chatsworth hours after fire and police officials were notified of the device about 1 p.m.
A spokesman with the Los Angeles City Fire Department said the device would be taken to an isolated area of Browns Canyon, just north of Chatsworth, but police could not confirm that report.
Nearby residents were evacuated to Chatsworth Elementary School. They had not returned to their homes by Saturday evening.
There were no reports of injuries.