University of Colorado police called in the Boulder County bomb squad to investigate a large backpack with wires that discovered Sunday night on campus, but found out it contained a device that was monitoring a gas meter.

CU poliice spokesman Scott Pribble said officers were responding to a fire alarm at about 9 p.m. Sunday at the Benson Earth Sciences Building when they discovered the backpack, which had wires sticking out and was sitting by itself on the east side of the building.

Officers decided "let's just call out the bomb squad just to make sure," he said.

Police secured the area and the building already was closed, so no evacuations were needed.

The bomb squad was able to determine that the bag was attached to a gas meter and was monitoring something for Xcel Energy, Pribble said.

"Nothing malicious, but better safe than sorry," Pribble said.

Police cleared the scene around 1 a.m.

In September, a plastic detergent bottle found near 18th Street and Euclid Avenue at CU prompted a multi-hour probe by a bomb squad and hazardous materials team. The bottle was deemed harmless after hazmat had determined the substance inside the bottle to be neutral.


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Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.