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Unattended backpack closes section of Masonic Street, causes evacuation of several buildings

Northampton police and firefighters and the State Police bomb squad responded to the call for the suspicious pack spotted outside the Verizon building at 61 Masonic St. about 9:20, police said. According to Northampton Police Capt. Scott A. Savino, the purple, wheeled backpack contained clothes, batteries and several empty vodka bottles. The backpack was spotted in a fenced-in area outside the building near an air vent, Savino said.

The scene was cleared by about 10:20 a.m., Savino said.

And in Amherst, a downtown restaurant was evacuated Tuesday morning after a customer spotted a suspicious object attached to a table.

Police responded to Bruegger’s Bagels, 170 North Pleasant St., at 7:01 a.m. when a person reported what looked like a box in the shape of a Lego toy on the leg of a table, said Detective Jamie Reardon. All customers and employees left the restaurant for about 10 minutes while officers determined the object was a magnet.

It was the second time in less than 24 hours police had responded to a suspicious item. Monday at 6:03 p.m., two plastic bags, one at the a bus stop near Town Hall, the other near the Emily Dickinson Homestead, caused concern for people. Both were determined to be filled with trash.

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