Streets reopen in downtown Cincinnati after police investigate suspicious package

CINCINNATI – Police reopened several streets in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday after spending nearly two hours investigating suspicious packages found in the area.

A black backpack was found on the curb at the intersection of Sixth and Vine streets after 3:30 p.m., according to Cincinnati police.

Ron Greenberg is the person who spotted the bag. As soon as he spotted it, he told a police officer who was standing nearby.

While he was unsure of the contents, he said he didn't want to take any chances.

"I figured it was my duty to let them know there was an unattended package there and (the officer) said they'd check it out right away," Greenberg said.

Greenberg said he was told police proceeded with caution because a second suspicious package was located a few blocks from the site of the backpack.

"They went over to check out (the backpack) and now we find there's another unattended package within two blocks from here. (That's why they think it's very suspicious," Greenberg told 9 On Your Side reporter Amy Wadas.

The Cincinnati Fire Department Bomb unit deployed a mobile robot and was able to open the pack to gain access to the contents. The contents were found to be harmless personal items, but contained no identification of the owner.

Investigators said the second unattended package was eventually claimed by its owner and didn't contain anything threatening.

Cincinnati Fire Department Capt. Michael Hines said part of the reason for the extra precautions had to do with the events going on in town, like the nationally televised Reds game and the Midpoint Music Festival.

"We had everything building up because it was right in the middle of the reds game, it's being nationally televised," he said "We had to play this one exactly like a live object."

Police closed the intersections of Sixth and Walnut streets and Seventh and Vine streets to investigate.

Nearly 20 firefighters and staff were on the scene for approximately two hours.

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