The Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad was deployed to a University of Southern California-owned strip mall after a suspicious object in the parking lot was reported to 911, the Daily Trojan reports. Found in the back seat of a car, the offending items—two fake clusters of dynamite—were part of a suicide bomber Halloween costume belonging to an Army recruiter working at the shopping center. You couldn't make this up if you tried.
The "bomb" was made of "two clusters of red cardboard tubes attached to hemp string and covered in black tape," while other accessories in the car included a "loose, white and purple body-length garment and a scarf-like headdress." A photo obtained by the school's newspaper shows the costumed man at a party with the dynamite strapped to his chest functioning as beer holders. "In my opinion," said an LAPD detective, "he was going a little strong with a Halloween costume that looked like a Muslim [terrorist]."
Despite the wasted time, manpower, and energy, the police were able to make good out of a bad situation. Reports the newspaper: "Officers quickly realized the situation was no longer serious and went to Starbucks for Frappuccino."