Suspicious Items In Trash Can Shut Down Street In Pilsen

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police were questioning a man Tuesday morning about two devices found in a trash can the day before, which led to an evacuation in Pilsen.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, a bombs scare shut down busy 18th Street in Pilsen Monday afternoon, and forced evacuation of some businesses.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

Authorities did find something – but nothing harmful, police say.

A law enforcement source told WBBM Newsradio that a man told them upon examining his garbage at 58th Street and Hermitage Avenue in the West Englewood neighborhood, he found two packets.

One had four road flares taped together, and a cell phone taped to the whole bundle. The other packet just had road flares.

The source says the man got on a Chicago Transit Authority bus headed north with the packets, and about the time he got to Pilsen, he realized they might be dangerous. So he threw them in a trash can near 18th Street and Ashland Avenue and called police.

The call triggered the emergency response in the 1500 block of West 18th Street. Police, the Fire Department and the FBI were soon on the scene.

At first, it didn’t seem like any big deal, said Jerry Mead-Lucero, who was in an office nearby.

“But when we came outside and we saw the level of activity, and saw the hazmat trucks pull up and everything, we realized, ‘OK, this is much more serious,” he said.

Authorities destroyed the devices, and police cleared the scene about 5 p.m.

There were no injuries.

  • Concerned citizen from the Back of the Yards

    58th and Hermitage is not the Back of the Yards! This is the second time in a week that CBS runs a story where the criminal is mistakenly identified as living in the Back of the Yards. Not cool, CBS. Please be mindful of the neighborhood boundaries because that obviously affects the way people see our neighborhood. If you will continue to use an broad (yet incorrect) definition of our neighborhood, we hope that you so that for the positive stories, too. Truth is, you will probably give the positive stories to neighboring neighborhoods like Canaryville, Bridgeport, or McKinley Park.

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