Upon discovering the toilet, which had been painted in multiple bright colours. police found a note that claimed explosives were hidden within the porcelain.
Bomb squads rushed to the scene as shoppers at the mall were herded toward the exits. Explosives experts then examined the toilet but did not find anything suspicious inside.
KCAL News' sky camera captured pictures of the lavishly decorated lavatory, which had been left in a paved area next to a what looked like a music stand. It was unclear if the stand was related to the toilet incident.
The bomb squad used drones and x-ray equipment to examine the toilet, according to KTLA. Once the x-ray came back clear, a pair of bomb squad members dismantled the toilet and later cleared the area.
Rick Caruso, the owner of the shopping centre, released a statement following the incident.
“Earlier this evening, a suspicious item and note were left at The Americana at Brand. As a result of our significant investment in security measures, we were able to quickly assist the GPD in identifying and locating a suspect who was then arrested,” he said. “We do not tolerate criminal activity on our properties and will take every step necessary to ensure the safety of our guests, tenants, residents and employees. We extend our gratitude to our security team and to the GPD for their quick response and action in arresting the suspect.”
Police have reportedly arrested a 22-year-old man named Timothy Taratchila in connection with the toilet bomb threat. He was identified after police reviewed surveillance footage in which they saw him allegedly placing the toilet near the shopping centre.
Mr Taratchila is reportedly from Burbank, and was being held at the Glendale Police Department pending $15,000 bail.
The incident left one news anchor in disbelief as he reported exactly what was unfolding the mall.
"Your eyes do not deceive you," CBS News' Desmond Shaw said. "I'm going to utter a sentence that I never thought I would utter, that a suspicious toilet has caused an evacuation of one of the most busy shopping centres in the greater LA area,” adding that the situation was "bizarre".