NEWS

GPS game clue triggers bomb squad call

05/10/2012 05:53 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

A suspicious package Toronto police originally feared was a pipe bomb turned out to be a clue in an outdoor treasure-hunting game known as geocaching.

On Tuesday at 10 a.m. police responded to a call of a suspicious package attached to a utility pole on a traffic island at Prince Edward Drive North and King Georges Road. Witnesses told CBC News the package resembled a piece of plastic plumbing and was attached to the pole with plastic zip ties.

The police bomb disposal unit responded and used a robot to detonate the package.

After inspecting the package, police said it was likely a clue used in an outdoor treasure hunting game known as geocaching, in which players use GPS-enabled devices to gather clues scavenger-hunt style.

The game also has a social networking component, as players share their finds with other online users.

Neighbours were kept out of their homes for hours while police dealt with the package.

Similar incident happened in Ottawa

It’s not the first time a geocaching package has triggered a serious response from police.

In 2008, a major road in Ottawa was shut down for four hours after a suspicious package, which later turned out to be a geocache item, was reported. More than two dozen police including a hazmat team and bomb disposal unit were tied up by that call.

Following that incident Ottawa police urged geocachers who hide packages to tell police exactly where they are and to ensure the caches don't look suspicious.

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