Bomb scare a dud

City police officers, Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies and explosives experts from the Washington State Patrol and a bomb disposal team from the U.S. Department of Defense closed Rockwell Avenue in Port Orchard on Thursday morning when a suspicious box was reported outside the Department of Corrections Office.

According to Washington State Patrol Trooper Walter Chartrand, a bomb technician, two coinciding events raised concerns about the box.

First, the USS Carl Vinson was preparing to depart at nearly the same time the possible threat was reported.

Secondly, the previous day a man running from police in Bremerton had reportedly thrown a homemade explosive device into the bushes. WSP explosive experts responded to that incident in Westpark Wednesday, as well.

According to Chartrand, the suspect — who is in custody — was on parole at the time, and his parole officer worked in the Rockwell Street facility.

“It was too great a coincidence to ignore,” Chartrand said. “You want to err on the side of caution.”

On Thursday, officers closed off Rockwell Avenue at Bay and Morton streets during the investigation, which subsequently determined the suspicious box contained only tools.

Police learned the building owner had been performing repairs late Wednesday night and had left the toolbox outside.

The streets were reopened after a closure of about two hours.

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