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Evansville Bomb Threat

Alyssa Nation waits in her car on her cell phone off Curtis Street in Evansville Thursday for police to clear the bomb threat. Nation has two children at Evansville Elementary which was put on lockdown while police investigated the threat. The device turned out to be audio equipment.

An Evansville woman called 911 to warn of a bomb Thursday after she saw what turned out to be audio equipment in a car parked on her property, authorities said.

The call prompted full closure of roads into the town for about an hour Thursday afternoon and the lockout of a local elementary school. Law enforcement evacuated the area before discovering the device was a piece of audio equipment, though not connected to a functioning stereo, a Natrona County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

The caller described the device — a capacitor with a digital display indicating voltage in the unit — as cylindrical, with wires on each end and a countdown timer. Because the capacitor was bleeding power, the display appeared to be a descending timer, sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Ellis said Friday morning.

“This lady was not trying to do anything but the right thing,” Ellis said. “But she was scared.”

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The description was consistent with a bomb but later turned out to also match the appearance of the capacitor, which can be used to power large speaker systems. It was not connected to any speakers, however, Ellis said.

Law enforcement made the correct decisions based on the information available, the investigative sergeant said.

“I can stop the world and restart it at any time,” Ellis said. “I can’t stop something that’s already happened.”

The sheriff’s office says there was no criminal activity or injuries thought to be related to the call. Access to the town was opened back up just after 2:50 p.m. Half an hour later, parents were picking children up at the school as part of a limited release, in which families left the school one at a time.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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