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“Hide And Seek” Device To Blame For Metra Delays

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Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

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WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) — A geo-caching game device is being blamed for a police investigation that stopped four Metra trains for nearly several hours near west suburban Wheaton on Wednesday afternoon.

About 1:35 p.m., the item was spotted by someone standing on the Illinois Prairie Path pedestrian overpass above the Union Pacific Railroad near the Wheaton Metra station at 902 Front St. That citizen notified authorities, a release from Wheaton police said.

Both police and fire personnel responded and secured the area. The item was seen hanging from a fishing line, suspended underneath the overpass, the release said.

All trains were stopped in the area and the overpass was closed.

Four trains — two leaving the area and two incoming — were stopped as police investigated. They included Union Pacific/West Line trains 50, 33, 52 and 35, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

By about 3:25 p.m., police had cleared the scene and the trains were able to proceed, Gillis said. Train No. 50 had the longest delay at 95 minutes, Gillis said.

The DuPage County Sheriff’s Explosives Unit responded and found no explosives. The suspicious item was a game device commonly referred to as a geo-caching piece, the release said.

Wheaton detectives and Union Pacific Railroad police are investigating who is responsible for suspending the game piece from the overpass. It is against the law for anyone to trespass on or place any item on or near railroad property, the release said.

Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world. Geocaching is often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek.”

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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