Bomb Squad responds to three suspicious calls on South Side Slopes


Suspicious devices that had the Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad responding on the South Side Slopes turned out to be retail theft prevention devices that were wrapped in foil.

Recently, the Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad was called out three times to examine suspicious devices on the South Side Slopes.

At a little after 11 p.m. on May 9 the Bomb Squad responded to the 300 block of Brosville Street for the report of a suspicious package. At the scene, bomb technicians observed a device described as a small cardboard cylinder wrapped in aluminum foil with wires and beeping.

Members of the squad disrupted the device, rendering it safe. It was determined it contained no explosives.

The following night at 12:09 a.m. a second call was placed for a suspicious package at Brosville and Pius streets. Again, the suspicious item also wrapped in aluminum foil, but this time there was no cylinder.

Technicians determined the suspicious item had been run over by a vehicle and did not have to be disrupted. However, it was found to be the same type of device as the previous night’s call. It was determined that it too, contained no explosives.

The following morning Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) again responded to 40 Pius Street for yet another suspicious package. Upon arrival EOD technicians observed aluminum foil in the street and found the device to have a beeping sound emitting from inside.

The third item was found to be an anti-theft device and was the same as the previous two suspicious devices that had been found.

The suspicious devices look like the type of sensors that are place on retail items to protect them from theft. The devices found were wrapped in aluminum foil to possibly deter the alarming system from activating when exiting a store.

It appears that since the foil had blown off of the third device and was observed on the street when the EOD technicians arrived on the scene, the device was found to be emitting a beeping sound causing alarm to the public and prompting the 911 call for service.

The reported suspicious devices were found in relatively close proximity, within a half mile of each other. EOD detectives believe there is the possibility the devices found could have been removed and discarded from stolen items (possibly thrown from a vehicle) after a theft had occurred.

In a statement, Pittsburgh Police spokesperson Diane Richard said the Bomb Squad will continue to respond to all suspicious package/item calls. However, it does not appear these items were intentionally placed in an effort to cause public alarm.

The Bomb Squad also would like to remind everyone to never touch a suspicious package or item, to call 911.


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