msnbc.com
updated 2/14/2006 11:10:37 AM ET 2006-02-14T16:10:37

Police were searching for the vehicle, Tuesday, believed to have dropped a "dummy bomb" on a freeway north of Los Angeles, Monday afternoon, snarling traffic for hours.

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The incident began at around 3:30 p.m. when a driver reported that an "aerial bomb" fell out of a truck onto westbound lanes and came to rest on the shoulder, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Some lanes on 210 freeway were shut in Sylmar shortly after 4 p.m. The California Highway Patrol called in city firefighters, who then called in the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad, the Times reported.

Police closed all lanes of the freeway by 6 p.m. and authorities began drawing up plans to evacuate nearby homes, the paper reported.

A U.S. Department of Defense expert was flown by LAPD helicopter in after being called by one of his employees who was watching the incident on local television, LAPD Capt. Michael Moriarty told the Times.

The expert determined that the device was an old weapon, but was nonexplosive. "It was just a large paperweight," Moriarty told the paper. Officials speculated that it may have been headed to a movie set or a scrap heap.

The device was removed and the freeway reopened about 8:30 p.m.

The bomb was to be transported to Edwards Air Force Base, KNBC TV reported.

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