A Vacaville elementary school and several surrounding homes were evacuated for approximately two hours Saturday while police and explosives teams investigated a suspicious object found outside the school. At about 11:45 a.m., police were notified by officials from Jean Callison Elementary School that a juvenile had located what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the front parking lot of the school. Police constructed a perimeter for safety reasons and an Air Force explosive disposal team from Travis Air Force Base responded to the school located at 6291 Vanden Road. All people were evacuated from the affected area so that the device could be defused, police said. After detonating the device in place at 12:36 p.m., an investigation determined that although it was constructed to look like a pipe bomb, it contained no explosive components.Instead, the suspicious object was intended to be a marker in an online scavenger hunt game called geocaching, police said.Geocaching is a high-tech version of a scavenger hunt — players are equipped with GPS devices, search for hidden outdoor containers called geocaches, and then log their finds online. According to cache requirements outlined on Geocaching.com, the official global GPS cache hunt website, caches should not be placed near public structures that are considered possible targets of terrorist attacks, including elementary and secondary schools. Because this device caused a disturbance to the community and required action by police, fire and specialized explosive teams, police are reminding people to act responsibly when participating in games that may create a public safety threat. An investigation is ongoing to determine whether the object was placed with criminal intent.
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