An abandoned briefcase led police to shut down a section of the Alberni Highway in Parksville Wednesday morning as they checked to determine whether or not it contained a bomb.
Sergeant Darrell Robertson said police received a report of an abandoned brown briefcase with wires hanging out of it at the corner of Alberni Highway and Memorial Avenue just past 8 a.m.
He said police raced to the scene and cordoned off a perimeter around the suspicious object, restricting access to the area in the interests of public safety.
As other officers watched from a safe distance, police examined the briefcase, which had an electrical cord draped over it.
As it turned out, the briefcase was just that — an empty briefcase and posed no threat.
Police retained the briefcase in an effort to determine who it belonged to.
RCMP are attempting to locate a person of interest in regard to this incident and are looking for a man described as between the age of 35 and 45 years of age with short, straight, salt and pepper colored hair, wearing a dark leather coat and dark jeans. A person matching this description was observed in that area carrying the briefcase shortly before the police were called.