Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sheriff: No threat from Nine Mile scare

A sheriffs deputy and his K-9 investigate a bomb scare  July 13 at
Nine Mile Station. The suspicious packages proved to be harmless.
(Heather L. Smith/Aurora Sentinel)
AURORA | Two unattended suitcases found Wednesday afternoon at the Nine Mile bus and light rail station were not bombs, the Arapahoe County sheriff said.

Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the two bags were found around 1 p.m. at either end of the tunnel connecting the parking garage and the light rail platform. 

Because the unattended bags were placed in separate areas, bomb squad investigators were particularly concerned, Robinson said.  “Obviously, that’s just an additional red flag,” he said. 

At 3:50 p.m., Robinson issued a statement that said the items were not hazardous or threatening. 

Robinson said it’s too early for investigators to say whether the incident was a hoax or simply an accident. But, because the bags were at separate ends of the tunnel, Robinson said it likely wasn’t an accident. 

Even if it was a deliberate hoax, Robinson said whoever left the bags likely won’t face charges. 

“It’s not against the law to abandon property that is not hazardous,” he said. 

The investigation started when deputies received a call around 1 p.m. about suspicious packages found unattended at the station near Interstate 225 and Parker Road, according to a statement from Robinson.

Light rail service at Nine Mile has been stopped, said RTD spokesman Scott Reed, and light rail users are encouraged to go to the Dayton Street stop instead. RTD is running a shuttle bus from the Dayton stop to Nine Mile, he said. 

The incident not only delayed bus and light rail traffic, but snarled traffic this afternoon on nearby Interstate 225. Nearby Cherry Creek Dam Road was also closed. 

All roads have since been reopened and traiun and bus service has resumed as normal, Robinson said. 

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