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Cookie package causes bomb scare at Buford Dam

Robot rips open box of sweets

POSTED: December 24, 2007 5:02 a.m.

These cookies really bombed.

A care package of baked sweets mailed anonymously to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office at Buford Dam prompted an evacuation Wednesday morning when a ranger decided the 12-by-8-inch package was a little too suspicious, authorities said.

Gwinnett Police Cpl. Illana Spellman said the ranger who called 911 about 10 a.m. Wednesday said he received the package during a routine pick-up of mail at a local post office. When he got back to the Lanier Management Office on Buford Dam, he opened the box partially, finding no note, but a pair of metal tins packed in styrofoam peanuts, Spellman said.

The 911 operator he called misheard the word “tins” as “pins” and sent out the bomb squad, Spellman said. An unspecified number of corps employees were evacuated, and soon news helicopters were hovering overhead.

The corps office “had recently received a few (phone) threats,” Spellman said. “The past threats, couple with the suspicious nature of the package prompted the 911 call.”

The bomb squad, as is customary, sent a remote controlled robot in to X-ray the package. It then opened the box, revealing the sweets.

“We were able to verify it was in fact cookies,” Spellman said. She could not say what kind of cookies they were, though she doubted they would be very appetizing to the intended recipients after being handled by a police robot.

“I don’t think they will want to eat them now,” she said.



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