5 things FBI wants you to know about spotting suspicious packages


As Austin police and federal investigators try to determine who placed deadly package bombs on three doorsteps this month, the FBI has five things to consider if you spot a suspicious package:

1. Look for indicators: Is it missing a return address or have restrictive language like “Personal” or “Confidential”? Is it possibly mailed from a foreign country? Are words misspelled, poorly typed or badly written? Does the address use only a title, or an incorrect title? Does it use excessive postage?

2. Don’t open, smell or taste: Beware of odors, oily stains, discolorations or crystallization on the wrapper.

3. Treat it as suspect if: The package has excessive tape or string or protruding wires. Is it lopsided or uneven, rigid or bulky?

4. Don’t shake or bump it: Don’t try to handle or carry it.

5. Call 911: Isolate the package, shield yourself from it.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his office’s Criminal Justice Division would offer a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people involved in the package bombs.

The governor’s office said to receive the reward, tips must be submitted to Texas Crime Stoppers by:

  • Calling Texas Crime Stoppers at 800-252-8477.
  • Texting the letters “DPS” and your tip to 274637.
  • Submitting a web tip through the Crime Stoppers website.
  • Submit a tip through the DPS mobile app.



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