Streets reopen after investigation of bag found on campus

UPDATED 7:30 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN — Police reopened Armory Avenue between Fifth and Wright streets in Champaign on Monday evening after a bomb squad checked a case discovered outside the University of Illinois Band Building and found it to be safe.

Nobody was reported hurt.

Champaign Deputy Police Chief Troy Daniels said a passer-by noticed the black case near the southwest corner of Armory and Sixth at 3:45 p.m. and called 911 to report it.

“They found a bag that a student most likely left behind” at the Band Building, said campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler. “We’re being extra cautious even though we are pretty confident there is no threat to life, health or safety,”

The streets reopened by 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The UI and Champaign police bomb squad was sent to the scene, and police directed students, staff and others away from the bag. Armory Avenue was closed between Fifth and Wright streets, but Daniels said he was unaware of anybody being evacuated from a building.

After the bomb squad arrived, a robot was sent to the case’s location and “disrupted” the case, Daniels said.

“We go through a set of procedures that we use to make sure that the package is rendered safe,” Daniels said “You will hear a loud noise when we disrupt the package so that it is rendered safe and will not harm anybody.”

Daniels said an X-ray was also taken of the case.

Daniels wouldn’t say what items were found inside the case, but he said it was safe and that no explosives were found. Daniels said police will keep the case as evidence.

The UI decided not to use the Illini Alert system that sends email and text messages, Kaler said.

The case is the latest item investigated by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team since mid-July, including a package left near Central High School, an bag left in West Side Park, an empty suitcase left near Leal School in Urbana, a suitcase in a parking lot in the 400 block of East University Avenue in Champaign, a package found near the northeast corner of Sixth and Green streets in Champaign and a package found near the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum.

All the suspicious items turned out to be harmless.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on September 17, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Was the name McDonald's on it?  How many copy cat bags will be left on campus now by prankster students?

drewbert41 wrote on September 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm

7 bomb squad calls since july?? What a waste.. or should i say what great use of our expensive robot. I could understand a bomb threat but checking every piece of forgotten luggage is getting rediculous.