VPD investigating after suspicious package found in Chinatown
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Police Department's Emergency Response Team deployed an explosives robot near the Chinatown parkade late Sunday morning.
Video from the scene showed the small robot making its way up the sidewalk of Keefer Street's 100 block, near the intersection with Columbia Street.
VPD spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed told CTV News Vancouver the team had been deployed to investigate a "suspicious package" in the area.
The robot stopped directly in front of the City of Vancouver Film and Special Events office, where there was a red and white object against the building, near the door.
Police shut down a large portion of Chinatown, including Keefer Street and Columbia Street, as the explosives unit worked.
"I would say that the police were not giving any information at all. I was unaware,” said Unity Whittaker, who lives in the block where the incident happened. “A friend notified me via text that there was a robot here. But other than that, I didn't know anything and they weren't releasing any information."
Around 1 p.m., police reopened the street, except for a small portion of the sidewalk where debris from the suspicious object lay scattered on the ground, including pieces of a red tube and what appeared to be the remnants of a doll.
Roed confirmed to CTV News that the suspicious package appeared to have been "a fake," not a real explosive.
“The investigation is ongoing, but there is no threat to the public or the surrounding area,” he said via email.
The City of Vancouver declined to comment on whether someone deliberately left the fake explosive in front of the Film and Special Events office, referring questions to Vancouver Police, who would not elaborate further.