Several streets, including Le Roy and Le Conte avenues were blocked during a suspected bomb threat on Wednesday May 2 in Berkeley

Police blocked several streets and prevented people getting into their homes Wednesday night on the north side of the UC Berkeley campus after a man reported hearing a ticking in his van and said he was concerned about a possible bomb.

The 20-year-old man called the Berkeley police at 7:36 pm to report a ticking sound in his van which was parked, unlocked, near Le Roy and Le Conte avenues. The man, who lives in the 2500 block of Le Conte Avenue, said he had recently fired an employee and the employee had made some threats.

Due to the circumstances, the BPD Watch Commander directed that the area be cordoned off for safety and activated the BPD EOD (Explosive Ordinance Device) to respond, according to the Berkeley Police. The Watch Commander also directed personnel to activate the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS), to advise community members of the possible explosive device and to remain in their homes. BPD officers evacuated community members from homes adjacent to the van.

The bomb squad did not find any explosive device and concluded that the sound was likely coming from a battery-operated part of the specialized van that was losing power.

Parts of Euclid Avenue, Ridge Road, La Loma, Le Roy and Le Conte avenues were blocked and several residents were told they could not return to their homes. The neighborhood was impacted for around five hours, in part, the police said, because bomb squad members are called in from home, and also because of the precautions that such an operation entail. BPD completed the investigation and resolved the incident at approximately 1:30 a.m.

No public buildings were evacuated during the incident.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...