Woman’s suspicious behavior leads to closure of Joliet streets
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org May 21, 2012 12:34PM
A police officer responds to a suspicious package at a FedEx delivery drop box at the corner of Jefferson and Chicago streets Monday, May 21, 2012, in downtown Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:26AM
JOLIET - A woman’s apparent displeasure with her cellular provider resulted in downtown streets being closed for nearly four hours Monday.
Buildings near Chicago and Jefferson streets were also evacuated after witnesses saw her make suspicious gestures with a package before placing in a delivery drop box.
Police Cmdr. Rich Demick said at 10:08 a.m. witnesses spotted a woman “stabbing” at the package she put into the FedEx drop box across the street from the Will County Courthouse and felt it was suspicious enough to call 911.
Firefighters examined the box and did not see any “leaking or other indications of immediate threat” but decided to activate the department’s Hazardous Materials team, which arrived to examine both the FedEx and UPS delivery boxes. A full workstation of chemical and contamination equipment was set up in the middle of the street as the owner of the Red Goose, the deli behind the drop boxes, winced at the lost revenue while watching the activity.
The Cook County Bomb Squad was called out and used a x-ray machine to inspect the drop boxes, determining two packages would be examined because their contents contained electronics.
One turned out to contain a digital video recorder and the other, which matched the description of the suspicious one, was a cellular phone being returned to Verizon.
The street was reopened shortly before 2 p.m.
The electronics were given to a FedEx security employee who told firefighters they would be repackaged and sent to their destinations.