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Geocache Mistaken For Bomb In Evanston

Geocaching

(Credit: CBS)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – A scary-looking item drew a bomb squad to a park just west of downtown Evanston over the weekend, but the item turned out to be harmless and mundane.

Just before 1 p.m. Saturday, a passerby noticed what he or she believed to be an explosive in Alexander Park, at Ridge Avenue and Grove Street in Evanston, according to police Cmdr. Tom Guenther said.

The Cook County Sheriff’s police Bomb Squad was called to the park and the area was cordoned off, Guenther said.

But it turned out the item was a Geocaching tube. People set up the tubes as part of high-tech treasure hunts in which items are hidden and their coordinates are placed online for people to find. Those who are not playing the game, and who may mistake the Geocaches for something else, are colloquially called “Muggles.”

Guenther confirmed the device found in Alexander Park was harmless.

The Geocaching game has provoked bomb scares elsewhere in the country over the past several months, sometimes with far more severe responses.

Last October in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Vacaville, Calif., an elementary school and several surrounding homes were evacuated after what was thought to be a pipe bomb was found in the parking lot, according to published reports. The device, which was detonated by a bomb squad, turned out to be a Geocache.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.