Evanston police say what officials initially believed was a small explosive device was found near the intersection of Grove Street and Ridge Avenue around 2 p.m. today.
Updating earlier reports that the device was a bomb, Police Commander Jay Parrott says it turned out to be a geocaching tube, a harmless device used to store small items intended to be located by game players using GPS systems.
But Parrott says the device looked suspicious to the local resident who discovered it a few feet into Alexander Park while out walking a dog.
The resident called police, and Parrott says responding officers weren't sure what it was either — so they called the Cook County Bomb Squad to the scene.
The bomb squad, Parrott says, opened the device and determined it was harmless.
He says it's not clear whether the device was left in the park intentionally or may have just fallen out of someone's bag as they were walking through the park.
He said that even though the incident turned out to be a false alarm, the resident who spotted the device did the right thing by calling it to the attention of police.