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Suspicious Items In Trash Can Shut Down Street In Pilsen

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Pilsen Suspicious Items

Commotion on 18th Street in Pilsen Monday, after suspicious items were found in a trash can. (Credit: CBS)

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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.

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