A pair of suspicious packages at separate locations in the city Tuesday prompted a large scale response from Yellowknife RCMP and City’s Municipal Enforcement Division (MED) but both were deemed not a threat to the public.
Around 9:30 a.m., Yellowknife RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious box in the industrial area of McMillan Street off of Old Airport Road, stated police in a news release.
Officers arrived at the scene and “secured a facility in the area,” states the news release.
Rob Davidson, an employee of the Back Rive Gold Project, told Yellowknifer he and his colleagues were told to leave an area along McMillian Street that was being evacuated.
Police say the box was left behind at the facility by a person who is believed to have made a comment suggesting the box contained an explosive device.
The facility was evacuated as a result of the report, and the Alberta RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit was called in for assistance.
RCMP nave not stated which facility was evacuated.
An investigation concluded the box was not suspicious in nature.
“The investigation has shown that the comment does not appear to have been made with intent, however comments of this nature have to be taken seriously,” states Tuesday afternoon’s news release.
Less than an hour later, an abandoned suitcase near the Northwestel building on 52 Street and Franklin Avenue prompted another large-scale response from law enforcement.
RCMP blocked off a stretch of roadway on 52 Street beside the building, before it was revealed the suitcase was empty.
After an officer investigated and removed the package, Const. Heather Cosenzo said emergency services had reacted appropriately.
“The best thing for us to do is talk and take it step by step, and go through the proper process and we had a successful result today,” she said.
Video evidence gathered led police to believe it was a “coincidence” that the suitcase was left unattended, Cosenzo told Yellowknifer on the scene.
“We take these reports very seriously and we ensured a full and thorough investigation,” states Insp. Alexandre Laporte, Yellowknife RCMP Detachment Commander, in the news release.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of the public while facing disruptions in these areas,” added Laporte.
At this time, RCMP do not believe the two incidents are linked.
Police are reminding residents that providing false information with intent to injure or alarm is a criminal offence – one that carries a sentence of up to two years.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 nwtnutips.com, (click on “submit a web tip”) or text: “nwtnutips” plus your message to 274637.