Three Joppa homes evacuated when suspicious item is found

Three houses in Joppa were evacuated Monday night after what looked like a bomb was found in a garage.

The suspicious-looking item was reported around 10:30 p.m. Monday in the 1700 block of Old Joppa Road in Joppa. The item looked like a stick of dynamite on the refrigerator with wires and a timer hooked to it. It was reported to be beeping and had a red blinking light on it, according to an incident report from the Harford County Sheriff's office.

What it really was, Deputy Fire Marshall Bruce Bouch said Tuesday, was a digital clock wrapped with a towel tube, "made years ago as a joke," he said. There was no power to it.

The woman who reported the suspicious package said she had been outside with some friends sitting by a fire when her daughter saw it in a detached garage.

Unsure of what the item was, sheriff's deputies evacuated the immediate area and two houses in close proximity to the garage where the item was found and the fire marshal's office was called.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Hatchett responded and walked into the garage alone to examine the item. A short time later, it was determined by Hatchett that the suspicious item was not any type of an explosive device, but was created to look like one.

There is no suspect information and no motive for the device being left in the garage.

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