Portland police destroyed a suspicious device that had been found and brought to the police station Thursday afternoon.

The device, which resembled a pipe bomb, was removed from a van belonging to the contractor who found the object, and then was disabled by the Portland Police Department’s hazardous devices unit.

It was removed from the van by the department’s remote-controlled robot.

To destroy improvised explosive devices, bomb squads often use a disruptor, which employs a water projectile fired at high velocity into the device, rendering it inert.

Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck told reporters Thursday night that the department’s hazardous devices team was deployed to investigate the device after it was brought to the station at 108 Middle Street at about 3 p.m.

As a precaution, police closed off Franklin Street from Congress to Fore streets and Middle Street from Pearl to Franklin streets. The roads were reopened around 6 p.m., after the device was destroyed.

Police also evacuated some floors of the Morgan Stanley building across the street from the police station, Sauschuck said.

Warren O’Shea, owner of O’Shea Construction, said he found the device while cleaning out a utility area in an apartment building near the base of Munjoy Hill, a property which had recently changed hands.

O’Shea said the device was a 1-inch diameter steel cylinder, about 5 inches long, with black wires protruding from steel caps on each end. The wires were the old type, with fabric covering, and the device was found among other debris that looked to be about 20 years old, he said.

O’Shea said he was about to toss the device in a metal trash container, then examined it and only gradually realized what he was probably holding, he said.

“As I’m examining it more, I’m looking at it and the red flags keep coming up and I said, ‘Oh my God. This isn’t good. This is in my hand,’ ” he said.

He put the device in a bucket of water, loaded it into his truck and brought it to the station.

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