Hundreds of shoppers and employees evacuated the mall Sunday afternoon after a series of garbled announcements played over the mall's loudspeaker, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Shopper Christina Taylor said she couldn't make out what the announcement said as she shopped at Bloomingdale's.
"No one knew what was going on -- someone said it was a fire, someone said it was a person with a gun," she said, describing the scene as "chaotic, crazy." "We love the Beverly Center, but it was terrifying."
Los Angles Police Department Capt. Lillian Carranza said police were tipped off about the bomb scare when a shopper returned to his car in the mall's parking garage, only to find it parked in a different location with his briefcase moved to a different part of his car.
Carranza said the man was involved in a "personal feud" and felt threatened.
"That's what raised the level of concern," she said.
Shoppers and mall employees had to wait outside, unable to access the parking garage to retrieve their cars, as the LAPD bomb squad detonated the briefcase, which did not carry a bomb, the Times reported.