Police urging extreme caution with suspicious packages, envelopes

The advisory comes in the wake of three recent explosions in Austin that have killed two people

Ken Costlow

Arlington police issued an advisory to the public Wednesday, cautioning residents to refrain from handling suspicious packages that may be left on the front porches of houses.

The suggestion comes in the wake of three incidents of packages exploding in Austin within the last two weeks that have killed two people and critically injured two others.

The notification came in the form of two social media posts and urged anyone with any doubts about a package left at their home to notify 9-1-1 immediately.

In addition, a letter in the mail that appears suspicious should be set aside and isolated. It should not be opened or smelled.

A poster issued by the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Homeland Security showing what to look for with suspicious mailings. (Photo: Arlington Police Department)

If a letter is inadvertently handled, that person should wash their hands immediately with soap and water.

In the workplace, mailroom workers should activate their emergency plan and notify a supervisor.

Indications of suspicious letters include a lack of return address, restrictive markings, envelope sealed with tape, misspelled words and badly written or typed text, excessive postage and a suspicious powder or substance on the exterior of the envelope.

If a package appears to have protruding wires emerging from the wrapping, or an appearance that it could contain a radiological, biological or chemical threat, it should be isolated and reported immediately.