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No bomb in package outside Durham revenue office

Posted July 6, 2010

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— Police said Tuesday that a package found outside a state revenue office in Durham didn't contain explosives, only dental tools.

The gray plastic case was found at about 7:40 a.m. on the sidewalk outside the Taxpayer Service Center of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, at 3518 Westgate Drive.

Durham police evacuated the office building and closed roads near the corner of Westgate and University drives, and the Durham County Sheriff's Office sent its bomb squad to investigate.

Police spokesman Lt. J.C. Shelton described the package as a "pelican case," a gray case that's a little bigger than a briefcase and said that it's typically used to store something valuable.

A bomb squad member X-rayed the case and then removed it from the property. Authorities later found dental equipment inside.

"It was some items that were left over by a tenant of the office building inadvertently overnight,” Shelton said, adding that he doesn't expect charges to be filed in the case.

Workers were allowed back inside the building by 10:30 a.m.

Also in Durham Tuesday morning, police closed several streets and evacuated houses after a World War II mortar round was found at 3529 Mossdale Ave.

Last week, police shut down all lanes of Interstate 40 near Fayetteville Road for almost four hours after a driver spotted a suspicious object on the shoulder of the highway. It turned out to be pieces of PVC pipe wrapped in tape.

"If another incident occurs, we’ll do the same thing there as well,” Shelton said. "You can’t be sure until you deal with it appropriately. We take all calls like this seriously.”

Capt. John Flamion Jr., commander of the bomb squad, said the Durham Police Department and Durham County Sheriff's Office have responded appropriately to all three incidents, despite public complaints about the I-40 closure.

"This is what we train for," Flamion said.

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  • kathryn411 Jul 7, 2010

    One day one of these bomb threats will unfortunately be real. When the day comes and precautions have been minimized in order for you to get through "rush hour" traffic sooner, and someone is seriously injured you will feel different. Hats off to the men and women(my brother) who serve on this bomb squad and put their lives on the line to keep all of us backed in traffic safe. Looking at things from all perspectives can help all of us!

  • Bartmeister Jul 7, 2010

    mrr03 says - TO: ALL WHO LOVE TO HATE DURHAM: Please come and check us out..we've got excellent schools,,no fussing about busing,,great places to eat,, excellent sports teams and not to mention National Champs in the B-Ball..We've got the DPAC..Duke University, North Carolina Central, The School of Math and Science, Durham School of the Arts..and lot more good stuff..UNFORTUNATELY, you only hear about bad things in Durham,,,but Durham has a lot of great things..I know I live there and I am PROUD of My CITY..right on..right on

    Like I said, Nobody cares. And yes I lived on Moreen Road years back before DerHam became the lint in the Triangle's navel so spare me the sales job. Move now while you have the chance.

  • Garnerwolf1 Jul 6, 2010

    Aahh, more experts!

  • csplantlover Jul 6, 2010

    I guess they have to investigate these things as if they were real threats - there's nothing wrong in safety - just sometimes people get carried away and make too much of a situation like this - shutting down highways - there should be a more effective and efficient way of encountering these threats without involving the entire free world.

  • chargernut69 Jul 6, 2010

    If the media (WRAL) did not make such a circus of this stuff on TV, there would be alot less of it!

  • NoFreakinWay Jul 6, 2010

    another false alarm. "but we'll always check these things out" the man says. And they'll also have you sit on the highway for hours upon hours for no reason. It's the DueHam way.

  • Garnerwolf1 Jul 6, 2010

    I often would like to take one of these leo-criticizing 'experts' and say "There, it may be a bomb. It's YOUR problem. And btw, see these 5 streets, 2 office bldgs, 4 stores, and 13 houses? If anyone in them so much as gets a hangnail, it will be your fault! You'll be crucified in the press, and will likely lose your job, and possibly your family. And the peanut gallery is watching so get a move on".

  • serious Jul 6, 2010

    TO: Can't this be done any faster? Some THINKING and a call to the tenant likely would have solved this 'mystery' in 10 minutes.

    How would they have known to call "the tenant"?? They didnt know what was in the box till they opened it. Great thinking da

  • LEO EOD Jul 6, 2010

    Thanks for the support "knowthefacts" and a few others. Most of you don't know the facts or have been misinformed from the beginning. Its obvious that some of you have no clue about EOD proceedures, but thats a good thing..
    It's amazing how some of you take so much for granted while others are putting themselves in danger.
    One day your path will cross with someone you've critized and you'll need them...

  • BULLDOZER Jul 6, 2010

    Well, the LEO's got it done a bit faster this time. 2 hours 50 minutes. That seems a bit more reasonable than the parade stopper 4+ hours last time on I-40 . I think it's ludicrous to believe LEO's can not response to a suspicious package in under 3-4 hours. I have faith in their ability to do better

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