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In wake of bomb threats in Volusia, suspicious envelope investigated at Justice Center in Daytona Beach
By Pat Andrews
posted Apr 22, 2013 - 5:12:57pm
The latest: Volusia County Sheriff's Office investigators took possession of a suspicious letter received at the James Foxman Justice Center in Daytona Beach today, Monday, April 22. The envelope was sealed with masking tape, and contained no return address.
First, there were bomb threats at two grocery stores over the weekend.
Then, police evacuated around 200 people from the Raymond James building at 444 Seabreeze Blvd. in Daytona Beach for more than an hour this morning, Monday, April 22, after a call came in to the Fifth Third Bank in the building, demanding money and threatening to detonate a bomb.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office brought in bomb-sniffing dogs to investigate, and no explosives were found. Office workers were cleared to return to work in the building, which houses the bank, an FBI office, and other offices, just before 11 a.m.
The incident came on the heels of bomb threats called in to two grocery stores, one in Daytona Beach and one in Daytona Beach Shores, over the weekend. No explosives were found.
The latest incident occurred after a judicial assistant at the S. James Foxman Justice Center, 251 N. Ridgewood Ave., Daytona Beach, was inspecting the mail delivery. Because the envelope’s appearance was somewhat unusual, the judicial assistant took the precaution of contacting Volusia County sheriff’s deputies who were stationed at the courthouse to investigate.
Deputies took the letter and requested response from the Daytona Beach Fire Department. The Volusia County Hazmat team was then called in to open the envelope and test the envelope and its contents for the existence of any foreign/toxic/harmful substances.
Two deputies who had handled the envelope were quarantined while the testing was being conducted.
All tests have been completed, the Sheriff's Office reported around 3 p.m., and the tests came back negative. The envelope contained a handwritten letter to the judge reporting possible criminal activity. It did not contain any threats.
Some media reports that the envelope contained a white, powdery substance were incorrect, the Sheriff's Office said.
While fortunately, these cases have not panned out to be anything significant, the Sheriff's Office doesn't want people to fear reporting suspicious people or incidents, spokesman Gary Davidson told The Beacon.
"Given the age in which we live, you have to take everything seriously. We don't shrug off anything," he said.
It is the people who live or work in a neighborhood who are most likely to notice something strange or out of place — before it comes to the attention of deputies or police officers — and getting that information quickly can be invaluable. An incident may be connected to other events, as well.
So, while locals are sometimes nervous about calling 9-1-1 for fear that they're being a nuisance, call, Davidson said.
Investigating is what deputies do, he said.
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