Boston police had their biggest alert since 9/11 on Wednesday, blowing up suspect devices and shutting down roads, bridges, and even a stretch of the Charles river after several illuminated electronic devices threw a panic into the city. In fact they turned out to be harmless depictions of cartoon characters, part of an advertising campaign for a television show on a major network. The police were not amused, and have arrested the two men who installed them for their advertising company.
The arrested men could be liable for the estimated half a million dollar cost of the security alert. The battery-powered electronic billboards have been up for weeks in 10 cities across America, without being noticed before. Now they, and the misfired advertising campaign, are frontpage news.