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.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. geocaching device at alexander park

    hello, evanston now readers;

    geo-caching is the new tech version of a treasure hunt.  it has been around for about 10-15 years.  thousands of people participate.  they go on-line to find coordinates in an area they want to search in, then use gps to find the spot.  people who have left the cache (in this case, probably the suspicious tube) often leave candy, gum, notes, small trinkets, etc. for the successful finders, who all leave their names and/or another trinket or message. 

    i would suggest that an internationally recognized symbol be developed to attach to all geo-caches so people will know what they are.  but perhaps, in our days of terrorism, that wouldn't be of any help.


    mary brugliera

  2. geocaching

    according to geocaching.com, there are nearly 1.4 million caches world wide including over 100 within 3 miles of zip code 60201

  3. Geocaching

    Geocaching has been around just over 11 years.

    There is an internationally recognized symbol for geocaches: The Geocaching logo (found at geocaching.com)

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