Updated: All Clear in Downtown Berkeley after Bomb Panic

By Jamey Padojino (BCN)
Monday October 28, 2013 - 04:51:00 PM

Berkeley police have reopened streets in a popular downtown area after two suspicious packages were found to be harmless, a police spokeswoman said. A suspicious package was delivered to a business in the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley police Officer Jennifer Coats said. 

The business was not expecting the package and called Berkeley police, Coats said. 

Businesses on the east side of the street were also evacuated, she said. 

The Berkeley police bomb squad investigated and deemed the suspicious package to be harmless, Coats said. 

Police reopened Shattuck Avenue between Bancroft and Durant avenues at 3:53 p.m., she said. 

In a separate incident, University of California at Berkeley police responded to a suspicious package also determined to be harmless this afternoon. 

The package was reported on Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue at 2:44 p.m., UC police Sgt. Nicole Sanchez said. 

The UC police bomb squad responded and found an empty rolling suitcase in front of Whelan's Cigar and Smoke Shop, she said. 

Traffic was blocked off on westbound Bancroft Way from Bowditch Street and northbound Telegraph Avenue from Durant Avenue until 4:14 p.m., Sanchez said.