bomb

(via Flickr/Tony Webster)

Police in St. Louis say a suspicious device that prompted the evacuations of several homes turned out to be a Halloween prop.

KMOV-TV reports that a real estate agent found the item Friday morning in a box in the basement of a vacant home. The woman called police, who described the item as looking remarkably like a real bomb.

The city's bomb squad removed the box while police contacted a former tenant and learned the box had apparently been used as a part of a Halloween costume.

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Classes have been called off at a southwestern Illinois college after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the campus.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that officials ordered Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville cleared out Thursday morning after a student found a threatening hand-written note in a men's bathroom of the main building.

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A southwestern Illinois man is accused of damaging a St. Louis federal building with a firebomb.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 33-year-old Jeremiah McGee of Fairview Heights, Ill., has been charged with attempted destruction of U.S. property by fire or explosion.