Local News

No bomb in package outside Durham revenue office

Posted July 6, 2010 9:02 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2010 1:54 p.m. EDT

— 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.