A Santa Ana police officer on Monday found what first appeared to be dynamite in a box of donated firearms that Goodwill Industries had brought to police, prompting the evacuation of the department's lobby.
The scare began about 2:45 p.m. when a Goodwill employee dropped off the box curbside at the Police Department, said Lt. Chuck Deakins.
While rummaging through the box, an officer found a suspicious device, Deakins said. As a precaution, police called the bomb squad and evacuated the department lobby.
After about an hour, the bomb squad determined that the item was not explosive, but officers have yet to figure out what it is, Deakins said.
Denise Higuchi, a spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries of Orange County, said people routinely donated old weapons, which were turned over to police.
This box was collected late Sunday from a Goodwill drop-off location at 5th and Fairview streets in Santa Ana.