Tips on dubious packages from the Lee County bomb squad commander

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:

Receiving packages is unusual for Ruth Macy.

“For someone to ring my doorbell is very unusual,” Macy said, a Port Charlotte resident. “If there was a package there I would probably question it.”

Macy said finding a package on her doorstep would be sufficient for her to reach the worst conclusions about its contents and the senders motivations.

After last week’s slew of suspicious packages sent to high ranking Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump, where a Florida strip club deejay placed pipe bombs in them, she and others said they are going to be more observant of what that package looks like.

“Whether or not I recognize the writing, how it was written,” Janet Jarr said, a Punta Gorda resident elaborating on the details she looks for to determine if a package is safe. “I would look at the postage, how much postage was on there and the bulkiness of the package.”

The best prevention, according to experts, is to apply common sense.

“You don’t have to touch it,” Eric Stephens said, the Lee County Sheriffs Office bomb squad commander. “Just look at it and if no one ordered something, then be suspicious.”

Recipients of packages have a couple key details to determine if a package is safe. Stephens said to look out for a generic return address or none at all. Also, lots of stamps or a lack of postmarks are red flags.

Wires protruding from the package is another clue something may be wrong. Recipients are encouraged to call the bomb squad should any of these details become apparent.

“The first thing we arm up is our robot to run it in and see what we have,” Stephens said. “We’ll load up two guys in the bomb suits and we will x-ray the package to see the insides of it.”

As a sign of her concern with the pipe bomb packages intended for American citizens, Macy said she would not hesitate to make a call to prevent herself from becoming a victim by an insidious sender.

“I would absolutely,” Macy said. “No problem with that.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.