An object left in a Linden parking lot Tuesday was found not to pose any danger to the public, but it appeared to be designed to resemble an explosive device, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, Union County Police Chief Christopher Debbie, and Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham jointly announced Wednesday.
Linden Police Department patrol units responding to a report of a suspicious object traveled to the 1100 block of West St. Georges Avenue (Route 27) at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday, located the object, and immediately began clearing the area. West St. Georges was closed between North Stiles and Ross streets, and residents of two nearby apartment buildings were evacuated.
Police, fire, and emergency management personnel from Linden, the Union County Police Department Bomb Squad, and members of the Prosecutor’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office K-9 and Crime Scene units, New Jersey State Police, and the FBI responded to the scene, and at approximately 8:30 p.m. an assessment was made that the object did not contain explosive materials. The scene was cleared a little more than an hour later, when evacuated residents were permitted to return to their homes. Police units also swept the area for additional devices, but did not locate any.
This remains an active investigation, and anyone with information about this matter is being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Dennis Donovan at 732-232-2049 or Linden Police Detective Joseph Kaulfers at 908-474-8537. The Union County Crime Stoppers are also offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” and a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.
“Thank you to the concerned citizen who first made us aware of this suspicious device,” Chief Parham said. “This event, like so many others we have seen, truly highlights the significance of the police-community relationship, and how important it is for our friends and neighbors to remain vigilant. We cannot do our jobs without you.”