Homemade 'Star Wars' toy causes brief evacuation in Middleton, police say

MIDDLETON, Wis. - A homemade toy briefly prompted the evacuation of a block in the Middleton neighborhood Tuesday morning, according to a news release. 

At 6:33 a.m., Middleton police received a report of a suspicious item outside an apartment building in the 7100 block of Belle Fontaine Boulevard.

According to the report, a Wisconsin state trooper noticed the suspicious item leaning against a railing just feet from his marked patrol unit. The package was constructed of two heavy cardboard tubes taped together with capped ends. 

Middleton police and fire department responders closed off a one-block area and evacuated all adjacent properties, officials said. At the same time, the Dane County Sheriff Department’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit was requested to assist in examining and removing the item.  

While awaiting the arrival of the EOD unit, a photograph of the suspicious item was circulated to officers at the scene so that all evacuated residents could be interviewed about the item, police said. It was during one of these interviews that a 12-year-old resident of the adjacent apartment complex identified the package as a "Star Wars" replica toy that he had made on the previous day. The boy said he had been playing with the item outside and had forgotten it next to the police car the night before. 

The item was cleared, confirmed to be harmless and all area residents were returned to their homes without injury, officials said. 

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