A bomb threat on Northside kept residents from their homes Wednesday night.
Berkeley Police Department officers on scene blocked off parts of Euclid Avenue, Ridge Road, La Loma Avenue, Le Roy Avenue and Le Conte Avenue. Residents were being allowed to leave the affected area, but no one was permitted to enter via car or on foot.
A community member from the 2500 block of LeConte Avenue called the Berkeley Police Department at approximately 7:36 p.m. as he heard a ticking sound in his van, according to spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss in an email.
The van was parked unlocked in the 2600 block of LeConte Avenue, said Kusmiss in the email. The man said he had just fired an employee and the employee had made some threats.
When the police inspected the van and heard a ticking-type sound, Berkeley police directed that the area be cordoned off for safety and asked the Berkeley Police Department Explosive Ordinance Device squad to respond, according to the email.
The bomb squad investigated the van and found no explosive device, Kusmiss said in the email. The police believe the ticking sound came from a battery-operated or mechanical part of the specialized van that had been losing power, according to the email.
Berkeley police completed the investigation and resolved the incident at approximately 1:30 a.m., according to the email.
UC Berkeley junior Vanessa Chew said she was visiting friends at the Foothill Residence Hall before returning to her home on the corner of Euclid and Ridge to find that her home and several of the surrounding streets had been blocked off with police tape.
Northside resident Fran Segal said she arrived at the intersection of Le Roy and Ridge around 9 p.m. and found officers had blocked off the street. She waited in LaVal’s Pizza on Euclid until it closed at 11 p.m., but was still not allowed to return home.