Police closed much of North University Avenue yesterday afternoon to investigate a suspicious package found in a University bus parked at a stop between the Ruthven Exhibit Museum of Natural History and the C.C. Little Science Building.
The package turned out to contain engine parts, including a supercharger kit, according to police.
A bomb squad from the Michigan State Police removed the package from the bus at 1:59 p.m., about 40 minutes after arriving on the scene. Police issued an “all clear” alert several minutes later.
Brown said the package especially concerned police because it bore similarities to several recent incidents in which suspicious packages were found in packages in Northville, Mich. In two of those cases, the boxes contained explosives.
The box was white, with open flaps and black insulation covering its contents, said Ken Massey, who drove the bus with the package on it. The outside of the box bore the word “Northville” written in scratchy handwriting, he said.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said she could not confirm that description.
At 11:51 a.m., Massey called to report a suspicious box on his bus. By 12:45 p.m., the North University Avenue was barricaded with police tape between Fletcher and Church Streets on the northeast corner of the Diag.
Witnesses told police that a male passenger entered the bus protectively carrying a box. The man left the bus without taking the box.
The bus was traveling southbound from North Campus to the C.C. Little bus stop.
The Exhibit Museum of Natural History was evacuated and closed during the investigation, but C.C. Little remained open. Many students were delayed getting to class as officers directed them around the barricades.
The bomb squad joined officers from the Department of Public Safety, the Ann Arbor Fire Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
A siren sounded at 1 p.m. as police investigated the package. Brown said in a written statement that the siren was part of the city’s monthly test and was unrelated to the investigation.
Brown said DPS is trying to locate the owner of the package.
“It’s an investigation of an incident,” she said. “Right now there aren’t any elements of a crime.”
But that could change, she said.
Brown said people with information about the incident should contact DPS at 734-763-1131 or call the University’s anonymous tip line at 800-863-1355.
– Andy Kroll contributed to this report.