False alarm

‘Suspicious device’ prompts bomb scare at Jesus Center

Chico Police closed roadways within a two-block radius of the Jesus Center for about two hours on Monday (Aug. 28) after a “suspicious device” was found in an employee’s office, according to a Chico Police Department press release.

Jesus Center staff notified police of a suspected bomb around 3:30 p.m. and evacuated the building before officers arrived. The Butte County Regional Bomb Squad ultimately determined the device was not dangerous, and the streets reopened around 5:45 p.m.

Laura Cootsona, executive director of the Jesus Center, described the device as “a cylinder with some batteries and wires.” It was found inside a backpack forgotten by a guest; the Jesus Center is working with police to identify whose it was.

“Everyone stayed calm,” Cootsona said of the evacuation, “but it was scary nonetheless.”