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Cosmetics blamed for Raleigh mailbox bomb scare

Posted February 2, 2011

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— A state bomb squad detonated a suspicious object found in a downtown Raleigh mailbox Wednesday morning, but found no explosives inside, authorities said.

Several people trying to mail letters found what was described as a soft-cover case, similar to a laptop bag, in the slot of the mailbox on North Street, near Wilmington Street, at about 10:45 a.m., said Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

The case later fell into the mailbox, she said.

State Capitol Police blocked off several downtown streets to investigate, and first used the agency's bomb-detection dog before calling in the State Bureau of Investigation's bomb squad and the U.S. Postal Inspector for help.

The bomb squad detonated the case, and State Capitol Police Chief Scott Hunter said it appeared to contain cosmetics and toiletries.

The mailbox is near offices for the state Department of Public Instruction and the Bath Building, which contains offices for the state Department of Public Health. Workers said they were asked to move to the interior of the building, and the entrance to DPI offices was blocked.

“They made an announcement over the intercom to stay away from the windows and to move to the other side where there's no windows for safety,” said Carla Frederick, an employee with the Department of Public Health. “People were nervous. People were scared. We weren’t sure what was going on.”

Lane and Wilmington streets were reopened to traffic shortly after 1 p.m., but North Street stayed closed until about 2 p.m. while SBI agents and State Capitol Police officers investigated the case. The mailbox has been removed from the street.

Authorities are still investigating the incident and are hoping to find surveillance video that might help identify who put the bag in the mailbox.

76 Comments

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  • keneds Feb 2, 2011

    I guess the State Capitol Police had it all under control.. I know a few of these guys were sure in hopes it was a bomb... WOW MAMA BEV WE FOUND US A BOMB!!!so I guess the mailbox is trashed now...hey is that not a federal offense to blow up a mail box

  • CarolinaWriter Feb 2, 2011

    @gingerlynn "it is amazing the number comments from the state workers who are supposed to be working that are on here. Nice use of taxpayer dollars!"
    How would you feel if it was right outside your office or home window, and no one bothered to tell you? At least the State Lab people got a heads up. Those at NCDPI are treated like mushrooms and kept in the dark. No warnings of what was going on, no suggestions to stay away from the window. Is it any wonder that they have to monitor the news to keep up?

  • wral mods blow close my account Feb 2, 2011

    Man up and open the box or find another line of work.

  • truth9806 Feb 2, 2011

    Maybe It's Maybelline.........

  • yabbadabbadooo Feb 2, 2011

    in russia, cosmetics detonate you.

  • fourfivesix Feb 2, 2011

    @gpcatgirl, please see the comment i posted in reply to vietnam vet.

    "@vietnam vet, they set up their own explosives instead of blowing up a device they know nothing about. it's safer that way."

  • nboblitz Feb 2, 2011

    You can detonate just about anything

  • dlk13ster Feb 2, 2011

    I'm sure they had a good "foundation" for their fears.

    The package could've made a "mascara" things.

    "Lipstick" to the facts, please.

    At least the explosion wasn't on a commercial "eye-liner."

    I bet this made at least one bomb disposal tech "blush"

    Aaaaaaand I'm all out...

  • m123 Feb 2, 2011

    Maybe I'm a little slow but I didn't know that one could "detonate" cosmetics.

  • Pseudonym Feb 2, 2011

    The wussification of America continues...

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