September 21 2014, updated 10:13am

Hide and seek game causes Auckland bomb scare

Last updated 17:00 13/02/2008

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A bomb scare caused by a computer game closed a busy part of downtown Auckland today.

Mayoral Drive was closed between the intersections of Wellesley St West and Cook St after a package was seen being strapped to a railing at the rear of the Aotea Centre about 3.50pm.

Motorists were asked to stay away from the area while the Defence Force bomb squad was called to examine the package.

Senior Sergeant Junior Abraham told NZPA the call to police was made by Aotea Centre security staff who saw somebody acting suspiciously around a railing before then planting the device.

A quick view of closed circuit camera footage was enough to convince police to call the bomb squad, he said.

While the area was blocked off, an employee from nearby Datacom came to police and told them the device was a geocache, containers used as part of an outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS devices. Read more about geocaching.

Further investigations were made to confirm this and the alert was lifted around 6.30pm.

Mr Abraham said the device was harmless but whoever planted it should have known better.

"If they are going to place these devices around the city of Auckland they should not be going to public places and buildings like the Aotea Centre," Mr Abraham said.

-NZPA

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