Skip to main content

Oakland traveler arrested for watch "art" that TSA thinks is timing device

By Jim Barnett, CNN
updated 5:32 PM EST, Fri November 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Watch had a toggle switch, wires coming out of it and fuses," officials say
  • Man was detained and then arrested for having the material to craft a bomb, officials say
  • Oakland International Airport reportedly says the watch is art

(CNN) -- Art is not always in the eye of the beholder. That may be the lesson one Southern California man learned Thursday night at Oakland International Airport after he tried to get through a TSA security checkpoint wearing a watch fashioned to look like a timing device.

"The watch had a toggle switch, wires coming out of it and fuses," said Sgt. J. D. Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, which is leading the investigation.

The man was detained and then arrested for having the material to craft a bomb, the sheriff's department said.

The bomb squad was called and it was determined the man did not have a device "that could function."

KGO-TV, a CNN affiliate in San Francisco, reported the man said the watch was art.

The FBI in San Francisco is assisting with the investigation.

"No explosives were found," said Julianne Sohn, FBI spokeswoman. "He was arrested on local charges."

A law enforcement source told CNN the incident doesn't appear to have anything to do with terrorism. The official did not provide details about why the man had the suspicious device.

The discovery of the item "resulted in the closure of the Terminal 2 checkpoint," said Nico Melendez, TSA spokesman.

Follow our reporting on Twitter: @JimBarnettCNN

CNN's Erica Henry and Carol Cratty contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT