Halloween Costume Prompts Bomb Squad Probe

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SAN MATEO, Calif., (UPI) —  Authorities in California said a man reported to be wearing a gas mask and carrying grenades turned out to be a costume shop worker practicing for Halloween.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said police received several calls Monday about a man in a car wearing a full gas mask with grenades hanging from his neck in downtown San Mateo, KCBS-TV, San Francisco, reported Tuesday.

The sheriff’s bomb squad responded to the scene and evacuated about a half-block area around 9:30 a.m. The man was detained and the bomb squad discovered an “inert grenade” in his car.

The man, identified as Gilberto Masias, turned out to be a costume shop worker wearing an “early Halloween costume,” the San Mateo Police Department said on its Twitter account.

Masias was cited for possession of an inactive grenade and released.

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