Suspicious object in Algonquin a part of treasure-hunting game

ALGONQUIN - A suspicious object that closed one lane of Route 62 in Algonquin for more than three hours Tuesday turned out to be a painted pipe hidden as part of an outdoor treasure-hunting game, police said.

The PVC pipe painted green that was hidden in a wooded area behind the Algonquin historic village hall was placed there for future participants of the "geocaching" game to find, said Algonquin Deputy Chief Steve Kuzynowski.

Geocaching is a treasure-hunting game where people find hidden items by using GPS coordinates detailed by the person who left the item. This particular item was never registered, which people can do with the village's recreation department, Kuzynowski said.

Police were called to the area around 10:30 a.m. after a public works employee spotted the unknown object. Police immediately closed eastbound traffic along Route 62, and called the Kane County Bomb Squad and the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills fire department to assist with the investigation.

Officials evacuated the area as a precaution. Eastbound traffic along Route 62 was closed for nearly three hours until police cleared the scene around 2 p.m.

Going forward, police would rather avoid using the excessive manpower by having people register their items for the geocaching game. The village will send a reminder to residents in the coming weeks, Kuzynowski said.

"We can learn from this experience and try to get the message out," he said.

– Stephen Di Benedetto