VicPD is investigating a metal toolbox that had been welded shut and dropped off at a basketball court in Fernwood on Thursday afternoon. (VicPD/Twitter)

VicPD is investigating a metal toolbox that had been welded shut and dropped off at a basketball court in Fernwood on Thursday afternoon. (VicPD/Twitter)

UPDATED: Bomb unit detonates suspicious toolbox left in Victoria basketball court

Police respond with ‘abundance of caution,’ close Gladstone Avenue to traffic

A couple of loud bangs signalled the beginning of the end of a tense afternoon in Fernwood on Thursday.

The controlled detonations around 8:30 p.m. came courtesy of an RCMP bomb unit and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response (GVERT) team dealing with a package left in a popular Victoria basketball court earlier in the day.

On April 30 around 12:30 p.m., the Victoria Police Department received reports of a man dropping a metal toolbox at a the court in the 1200-block of Gladstone Avenue. Callers told police “an unknown man” left the toolbox, which had been welded shut, at the basketball court and then left.

VicPD proceeded with “an abundance of caution” calling on GVERT and the RCMP Lower Mainland Explosive Ordinance Disposal team. The bomb unit arrived shortly before 8 p.m.

Police said while the package was not an explosive device, the contents were suspicious and the investigation is ongoing. They want to talk to the man who left the box, described as Caucasian with a brown beard and wearing a long-sleeved shirt. He was also said to be driving a white vehicle with a trunk – possibly a Mazda.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: VicPD name missing caretaker as suspect in Plaza Hotel arson

Anyone with information is asked to call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654 and press #1 to speak with the report desk. To make an anonymous report, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

“Please take a look at our social media, have a look at this welded metal toolbox,” says Const. Cam MacIntyre. “With the details of the unknown man and the vehicle, if you have information please give us a call.”


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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