Stephen Ellison

Pokemon Go Player Leaves Backpack, Sparks Evacuation in San Rafael

Areas of downtown San Rafael were restricted and evacuated Thursday when a suspicious backpack was found on the top floor of a parking garage behind the Bank of America building, San Rafael police said.

The backpack belonged to a male who was playing the Pokemon Go game on his cellphone, police said.

Police were informed around 11:40 a.m. that a young male left a large black backpack unattended on the top floor of the parking garage at 1000 Fourth St. and quickly walked away.

Police set up a perimeter and restricted anyone from entering the businesses and apartments in the area. The Bank of America building and the Rafael Town Center businesses and apartments were evacuated as a precaution, and traffic on Fifth Avenue also was restricted, police said.

The UC Berkeley's bomb squad responded to examine the backpack with a robot. One of the original witnesses took a photo of the male who left the backpack and told police the suspect was still in the downtown area where the bomb squad was working, police said.

When contacted by police, the male said he was playing Pokemon Go, but he denied leaving the backpack. He later admitted it belonged to him but he gave no reason why he left it there, police said.

The male was not arrested, and police said they do not anticipate charges will be filed.

The backpack contained a sleeping bag and clothing, police said.

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