UPDATE: Weird Watch Suspect from RPV Released

Rancho Palos Verdes resident Geoff McGann is released from county custody after being arrested at Oakland International Airport on Thursday with a suspicious watch.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at 12:08 a.m. on Nov. 17. It has since been updated with additional information.

A Rancho Palos Verdes man was released from jail on bail Saturday after his arrest at Oakland International Airport on Thursday, an operator at the Santa Rita Jail in Northern California confirmed Saturday afternoon.

Asked if Geoffrey McGann, arrested after he tried to send a weird watch through the X-ray machine at the airport security screening, was released into the custody of federal agents, the operator said, "Not to my knowledge."

McGann, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes, allegedly took off an odd-looking watch while going through a checkpoint at Terminal 2 about 7:45 p.m Thursday and put in the security bin along with his carry-on luggage and covered it with coat, said Alameda County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson.

The watch had materials that could be used to make a triggering device for an IED, Nelson explained.

"It had a toggle switch; it had fuses on it; it had a circuit board; it had wires that protruded from it," Nelson told Patch. The watch was also set to the wrong time.

In addition, McGann's boots were two sizes too big and were stuffed with layers of homemade insoles, which allowed for large cavities where someone would be able to hide items, Nelson said. He told authorities that he was traveling for work and wearing the hollowed-out shoes to make him look taller.

McGann was also wearing a military-style shirt with a built-in tourniquet in the sleeves, often used by soldiers to stop bleeding if they suffer an arm injury, the sergeant said.

He also said the watch was an art project and the hollowed-out shoes were to make him look taller, Nelson confirmed. He had no checked luggage, and his carry-on backpack contained no clothing.

Authorities did not find any explosive material in McGann's possession.

"He's claimed (the watch is) artwork, and that may very well be," Nelson told Patch. "The issue is, you know, you can make an artwork hand grenade (but) it doesn't mean it's a good idea to bring it to the airport.

"I can't quite figure out why somebody would do that."

The bomb squad arrived within 10 minutes after the 7:45 p.m. Thursday call, Nelson said.

McGann was arrested on suspicion of possessing materials that can be used to make a destructive device. He was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County on Friday afternoon, according information from the jail's inmate locator retrieved Friday night. He was being held on $150,000 bail.

Nevertheless, McGann's name disappeared from the inmate locator Saturday. The operator at the Santa Rita Jail confirmed that he had been released.

He was set to be arraigned on Monday.

McGann was at the airport to board a Southwest Airlines flight back to Los Angeles.

—City News Service contributed to this report.


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