Discovery of ‘honey oil’ setup in La Jolla home prompts evacuations

Patrol police car.

A landlord found what turned out to be drug manufacturing equipment in the former La Jolla home of a recently evicted
tenant Dec. 1, prompting some precautionary evacuations and street closures while authorities investigated.

The device, on a table inside the rental unit in the 6000 block of La Jolla Hermosa Avenue, was reported shortly before noon, according to San Diego police.

The person who found the butane “honey oil” manufacturing setup didn’t know what it was and believed it might be a makeshift explosive device, “so they called us,” police Sgt. Matthew Botkin said.

Authorities blocked off traffic lanes and cleared residents out of the immediate area while a bomb squad was sent to investigate, Botkin said. He said at least five homes were evacuated.

After determining the nature of the equipment, authorities impounded it for safe disposal, according to Monica Munoz, a spokeswoman for the city Fire-Rescue Department.

The neighborhood was reopened to the public at about 1:45 p.m., according to police.

Honey oil, also known as hash oil, is a concentrated substance derived from marijuana plants. Butane, a flammable gas, is often used to produce honey oil.

— San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer Karen Kucher contributed to this report.