BELL GARDENS, CA -- Initial reports of cocaine found in a south California bulk vending machine's capsuled toys have proved to be false. According to a statement release by the Bell Gardens Police Dept., an initial test for the illegal drug returned a "false positive." A subsequent test, prompted by an "abundance of caution and concern for community members," revealed that the substance was harmless.
"During the continued investigation, police were able to locate and interview a vendor that provides toys for these vending machines," a BGPD press release said. "Additional testing was also completed that proved the substance was not cocaine. The specific substance resembles talcum powder or baking soda, but has yet to be determined. We are, however, confident that it is not cocaine nor does it pose a health risk."
The bulk vender, which was located at a local restaurant, was said to contain up to 136 grams, nearly five ounces of the powder. A mother and her son made the purchase for a 25¢ turn on June 5. The mother, who was suspicious of the powdery substance inside the toy, contacted local law enforcement.
Although the police moved to clear up the matter quickly and efficiently, local and national news media reported the story, and have yet to issue corrections. Photos that accompanied the story did show capsuled toys that vaguely resembled packaging for illicit drugs.
"It is always a good practice to continue to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police department," the Bell Garden Police Dept. said.