The discovery of two suspicious packages behind the town’s water tower last Saturday prompted the evacuation of a nearby street.
According to police, Sgt. Hickey was off-duty walking on Winthrop Shore Drive when he received information from a resident about a suspicious package on the shoreline behind the red, white and blue water tower. Hickey confirmed the situation. Police Chief Terence Delehanty arrived on the scene shortly after. The scene was secured with the help of other officers. The Winthrop Fire Department and Action Ambulance were notified to stand-by at Beacon Circle.
The Massachusetts State Police Troop F Bomb Disposal Unit from Logan Airport was on scene by 6:30 pm. Around 7 pm Sgt. Mary Crisafi evacuated all the residences on Faun Bar Avenue and all traffic was stopped from traveling on Harborside and Faun Bar Avenue. Traffic was diverted from Winthrop Shore Drive. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 8 pm but the Beacon Circle walkway remained closed. According to David Procoppio, spokesman for the state police, the packages were x-rayed and were found not to contain any bomb components or hazardous material. The Massachusetts State Police crime scene services with Trooper Quigley secured the scene. The rest of the investigation was managed by Winthrop detectives and the Massachusetts State Police.
The investigation revealed that the box found was part of Geocaching game. In Geocaching, participants hide packages to be found by others by using a GPS system, like a high-tech treasure hunt. A search of one Geocaching site on the Internet shows numerous packages left behind on the North Shore.