06/10/2013 09:26 EDT | Updated 08/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Imitation pipe bomb shuts down Abbotsford traffic

Police used a water cannon to neutralize an apparent pipe bomb that was discovered Monday morning at an automotive shop in the Clearbrook commercial area of Abbotsford.

Traffic was diverted around the 2700 block of Garden Street after an employee of the shop noticed the suspicious device at the back of the property just before 9:15 a.m. PT.

Abbotsford police Sgt. Casey Vinet said the device appeared to be a plastic tube with black electrical tape around one end.

RCMP explosives experts brought in a robot to access the suspicious device, and blew it up with a water cannon.

Vinet said that, in the end, the pipe had objects inside that would be consistent with the contents of a pipe bomb, but it was not a functional bomb.

"This was a device that was — from our perspective — was intended to look like a functioning explosive," he said. "Fortunately it was not."

Vinet said police are now treating the incident as a criminal matter, and are trying to identify who is responsible and why the particular business may have been targeted.

“Whether this was a prank of some sort or otherwise is still yet to be determined," Vinet said in a written statement.

Vinet would not identify the business, except to say it was in a strip mall that has four or five automotive shops.