Deputies clear scene after discovery of suspicious package at Social Security office in La Mesa

LA MESA, Calif. - Social Security Administration workers found an unfamiliar and unattended briefcase outside their La Mesa workplace Wednesday, prompting a several-hour road closure in the area while a bomb squad determined that the satchel was harmless.

The federal employees came across the case in front of their office in the 8000 block of University Avenue about 7:30 a.m., authorities said. They did not recognize it and had not seen it there following their shifts the previous evening, sheriff's Detective John Rutledge said.

An explosives team was dispatched, and officers blocked off a stretch of eastbound lanes on La Mesa Boulevard as a precaution.

The bomb squad opened the satchel, determined that it contained nothing hazardous and gave an all-clear about 9:45 a.m., according to police.

"The briefcase may have been the property of a local transient known to frequent the area," Rutledge said.

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