Salt Lake City Police Evacuate Building After Audi Timing Belt Tensioner Confused For Explosive Device


The Salt Lake City Police Department said it evacuated a building on Wednesday, June 29, “out of an abundance of caution” after a mysterious metallic object with a pull pin was discovered in an apartment complex in the city. Fortunately, car Twitter came to the rescue.

The police said in a release that the object “resembled a possible explosive device” and were baffled enough by it to release a photo asking Twitter for help identifying it. And, to be fair, it is an unusual looking item.

Fortunately for all, the Salt Lake City Police Department’s online request returned a number of responses, all accurately identifying the object as a timing belt tensioner commonly found on Audi vehicles.

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Speaking to The Drive, the SLCPD defended its decision to evacuate the building, saying that it approaches every suspicious device with safety as its priority. It also said that lots of innocuous items can be used in bomb-making.

“In this situation, our officers correctly assessed the situation and acted properly,” a spokesperson told the outlet. “Based on the witness statements, the fact that no one at the location claimed ownership for the device and that it seemed highly out of place, it was appropriate to notify our bomb squad so the device could be identified, handled safely, and then tested to confirm there was no threat.”

The department reports that the item was “safely taken by the [Hazardous Device Unit] team for further investigation.” The unit, it said, is supported by the FBI.

Fortunately, their expertise turned out not to have been essential in this case and everyone is okay, although there’s a chance that an Audi owner in the building will be making another trip to the parts store…

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