Geocache container leads to bomb scare at I-5 rest stop - KPTV - FOX 12

Geocache container leads to bomb scare at I-5 rest stop

Posted: Updated: April 29, 2013 03:58 PM
Photo: Oregon State Police Photo: Oregon State Police
EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -

A black box hidden in a tree at an Interstate 5 rest area was supposed to be part of an online treasure-hunting game, but it led to a bomb scare Sunday night.

Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation closed down the northbound Gettings Creek Rest Area about 14 miles south of Eugene at around 7 p.m.

A witness called 911 to report a suspicious ammunition container hidden in the crook of a tree near the rest stop's entrance at milepost 178.

A Eugene Police Department hazardous device technician inspected the box and determined it was not dangerous. Instead, it was a geocache container.

Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunt, according to geocaching.com, where people use their smartphones or GPS device to track down hidden objects. Participants then post about their experiences online.

The item was removed from the rest area, which was reopened at around 8 p.m. Sunday.

Oregon State Police urge anyone participating in geocaching to use transparent containers and clearly label them as a geocache.

If responding hazardous device technicians have any doubts about a suspicious container, they will take all necessary safety precautions including destroying the container to render it safe.

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