Suspicious package calls on the rise in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY - With the recent mail bomb threats across the US, OHP officials say bomb squad calls are on the rise in Oklahoma.

"Heightened awareness by the public always results in a lot of calls," said Captain Jeremy Allread of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Officials say that might have been the cause for Tuesday night's suspicious package call at the Mustang Post Office.

"With the current events, with devices that have been mailed out recently, particularly on the east coast to political figures, I think that's what heightened people awareness on this. The main similarity was the state that the package originated from... it was from Florida," said Allread.

The package turned out not to be dangerous. Cpt. Allread says the OHP bomb squad typically gets about 320 calls a year.

"We are up a little bit this year over last year on suspicious pkg calls given the current environment that we live in," said Allread.

State troopers have six bomb teams stationed at five offices across the state.

There are three ways they typically investigate once on site: There is a K-9 team; You can send in a bomb tech in a padded suit like they did in Mustang or,
"If we believe there is a danger there we will use a robot first and try to stay remote with it."

Each one of those robots typically runs about $220 thousand. Those techs on site in the truck go through full FBI hazardous device training in Alabama.

Bomb squad officials still want the public to stay aware.

"Anytime you see anything that just seems out of place, out of the ordinary or just unusual to you, we want you to make that call," said Allread.

After you get off the phone with police, officials say to look for suspicious people around you, notice any unusual writing on the package itself, and stay away from the package.  Keep others away too.

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