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Apparent false alarm at federal building

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 4, 2011, 7:29 p.m.

A suspicious device duct taped to a bicycle on the federal courthouse campus downtown this evening contained no explosives, Spokane police said.

Federal security officers reported the suspicious device about 5:40 p.m., after it was found attached to a bicycle locked to a rack in the breezeway between the U.S. Post Office and federal court house.

Riverside Avenue was shut down and pedestrian traffic was rerouted around both buildings in the block between Riverside and Main, and Monroe and Lincoln.

The Spokane Bomb Squad was called in to investigate, taking pictures of the device with an X-ray camera. The device, which contained no explosive components, appeared to be an electric charger of some kind and had a switch, said Lt. Brad Arleth, Spokane police bomb squad commander.

It was suspicious enough that federal workers were “uncomfortable with it,” and called to report it, he said.

The bomb squad disassembled the device, and authorities are looking for the owner of the bicycle, Arleth said.

Although it appeared no federal employees were evacuated, dozens of construction workers were ushered from the loading area across Main Avenue during the incident.