Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 2:55 pm | Partly Cloudy 67º


Local News

Stearns Wharf Bomb Scare a False Alarm

Remote-controlled robot destroys suspicious pipe found outside Ty Warner Sea Center.

The east side of Stearns Wharf was evacuated Thursday afternoon while Santa Barbara police investigated a suspicious pipe. (Rob Kuznia / Noozhawk photo)

A bomb scare that led to the partial evacuation of Stearns Wharf late Thursday afternoon turned out to be a false alarm.

Around 4:30 p.m., the Santa Barbara Police Department bomb squad responded to a call about a suspicious device resembling a pipe bomb near one of the Dumpsters outside the Ty Warner Sea Center.

Officers evacuated the east side of the wharf — although most of the restaurants remained open — while they examined the device with a camera-toting remote-controlled robot. They eventually destroyed the device with a high-powered water gun attached to the robot.

Police considered the galvanized pipe suspicious because it was capped at both ends and appeared to have a wire protruding from one end.

Lt. Ralph Molina said some officers speculated the device was part of a scavenger hunt of some sort.

There were no injuries in the incident.

Noozhawk staff writer Rob Kuznia can be reached at [email protected].

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >