Tests on a suspicious white powder a woman brought to the Littleton Police Department on the afternoon of May 14 were inconclusive as to what it was, according to Cmdr. Trent Cooper, but a press release the city issued later in the afternoon said it was benign.
A woman police describe as a private citizen received a FedEx envelope from an address in Indiana that was not familiar to her. When she opened it, she noticed the white powder.
“She obviously was concerned about that,” said Cooper. He said the woman had no idea who might want to harm her.
“To her, it seemed totally random,” said Cooper.
She took it to the department, which is located in the Littleton Center, 2255 W. Berry Ave. The city’s entire administrative staff works there, and it’s where city council and most of the boards and commissions meet.
“We immediately sealed it up, removed it from the building and called the fire department,” said Cooper. Littleton Fire Rescue and the South Metro Fire District Hazmat unit responded.
The building was not evacuated, but the woman was decontaminated as a precaution, said Cooper.
LPD turned the case over to the FBI. An agent on scene said he couldn’t comment, but the press release says the FBI took the substance for further identification.
Cooper says the best thing to do in such a situation would be to leave the package where it is, evacuate the immediate area and call the police or the fire department.
“Transporting the substance, if it turns out to be harmful, will just spread it around and potentially contaminate other people and a larger area,” he said. “Had this turned out to be a seriously harmful substance, we would now have a situation where not only the person’s residence would need to be secured and decontaminated, but her car, the city building and anyone else who may have come into contact with it.”