A downtown Royse City bomb scare involving what appeared to be dynamite turned out to be an “elaborate hoax.”
“The Garland bomb squad was contacted and responded to the scene,” Royse City Police Chief Carl Alsabrook said in a news release on Friday, a day after the incident.
“Using a robot, the device was removed from the truck, disassembled and inspected,” the news release stated. “While some of the components were legitimate — dynamite tubes and caps — the device appears now to have been an elaborate hoax.”
The incident began about 5:50 p.m. Thursday when two men reported seeing a “suspicious device” in the back of their pickup truck that was parked in front of a business they were remodeling in the 200 block of West Main Street.
Royse City officers responded, saw the devices and contacted the Garland Police Department.
About 40 residents and merchants were evacuated. A city council meeting, which was to be held in the Police and Courts Building at 100 W. Main St., was cancelled.
Police and fire department personnel blocked Main Street from Elm Street west to the park near Erby Campbell Boulevard. Houston Street was shut down a block on both sides of Main Street.
The suspicious device consisted of three dynamite tubes with caps, wire, battery as a power source and a timing device.
Alsabrook said the components will be sent to a lab for testing and fingerprint processing.
While the bomb squad was doing its job, law enforcement and fire personnel stood by in the parking lot of Rest Haven Funeral Home. Mayor Jerrell Baley also stayed on the scene until he found out the scare would have a quiet and safe ending.
The street was reopened about 10:30 p.m.