Suspicious device found by Channing Circle deemed harmless party prop

A suspicious device reported near the intersection of Channing Way and Piedmont Avenue Saturday was found to be a party prop, according to Berkeley police.

The device was located in a parking lot adjoining the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and an apartment complex. A passer-by called Berkeley Police Department around 10 a.m. about a suspicious-looking package, and police responded with precautionary measures, according to Officer Jennifer Coats, spokesperson for BPD.

As a part of response protocol for possibly reactive devices, the proximate area was cordoned off, and traffic on Piedmont Avenue and Channing Way surrounding Channing Circle was blocked from 10 a.m. until early afternoon.

According to Coats, within hours, BPD’s bomb squad deemed the object safe.

“It seemed to be some kind of prop used for a fraternity’s costume party,” Coats said.

Contact J. Hannah Lee at [email protected]