crimesider

Toilet Considered a Threat, Situation Defused Near Baltimore

Authorities examine toilet that aroused suspicion in Towson, Maryland (WJZ/Jason Garber)

(CBS/AP) When is a toilet not a toilet? When it's considered a potential threat.

Police say a suspicious toilet bearing a cell phone and a radio or TV transmitter were left outside a local government building in Towson, Maryland. A Baltimore County police spokesman, Lt. Robert McCullough, said the toilet was discovered Monday morning on a sidewalk outside the offices of the county executive and county council, and sent authorities scurrying.

He says the toilet was decorated with images and notes, but he didn't elaborate on the content of the notes, saying only that the toilet and materials were arranged in a way that raised suspicion.

McCullough says a hazardous device team, a bomb sniffing dog and crime lab personnel were summoned to investigate.

Ultimately, the toilet proved harmless, and contained no explosive device.

McCullough said police have a lead on a possible suspect in the Towson toilet caper.