Mail Bomb Alert

Because of the recent terrorist activities abroad, Public Safety would like to remind members of the Penn community of some distinctive qualities which might indicate explosive devices sent as mail or packages. Special attention should be given to mail/parcels which have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Foreign Mail, Air Mail, Express Mail and Special Delivery
  • Restrictive markings such as "Confidential", "Personal", etc.
  • Excessive postage
  • Hand written or poorly typed address
  • Incorrect Titles or Titles but no names
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Odors, oily stains or discolorations
  • No return address
  • Excessive weight
  • Rigid envelope
  • Lopsided, bulky or uneven envelope or package
  • Parcels with an irregular shape, soft spots or bulges
  • Envelopes or parcels making a buzzing or ticking noise or sloshing sound
  • Protruding wires or tinfoil
  • Excessive securing material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  • Visually distracting packaging such as candy boxes, etc.
  • Contents which offer excessive pressure or unusual resistance when being removed from an envelope or parcel

Anyone receiving or becoming aware of a suspicious letter, envelope or parcel should:

  • Immediately call Penn Police at 511 or 573-3333
  • NOT use a two-way radio or cellular phone in the vicinity of the letter or package
  • NOT turn light switches in the area on or off
  • NOT move, disturb or unwrap the item
  • Await the arrival of police
  • Be prepared to report to police any relevant information such as how object was delivered, descriptions of persons delivering, vehicles used

Anyone with questions should contact Security Services at the Division of Public Safety, 4040 Chestnut Street, phone 573-7800.

Again, in case of an emergency when you need immediate police assistance, call Penn Police Dispatch at 511 (573-3333).

-- Stratis N. Skoufalos, Director of Security Services

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 2, September 8, 1998