Austin apartment complexes warn residents after package bombings

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin police are trying to find out who sent three exploding packages to three different homes in the past two weeks. They say they do know for sure, however, the packages didn't come through any official delivery services.

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said during a news conference Tuesday the packages were cardboard packages that were placed on the victims' doorsteps or yards overnight, and the parcels didn't have any shipping labels.

Still, many apartment communities in Austin are warning their residents about suspicious deliveries and people. 

"If you receive a package that is unexpected, mislabeled, or from an unknown source, call 9-1-1 immediately and APD will investigate. Do not handle the package," one e-mail obtained by KXAN read. 

Another property's notice said, "Although there have been no incidents at apartment communities, please exercise caution with any package that appears out of the ordinary, not delivered by a uniformed delivery person or is otherwise suspicious."

One resident told us when she first heard about the explosions, she immediately thought of her son. "My child is 11-years-old," Julia Lay said. "He doesn't immediately look at the label because he's 11."

She explained her son likes to open packages. "Whenever he see a package. He immediately -- 'What's in there, I want to know what's in there?' -- so he's immediately trying to open it. So that was my biggest concern."

The Postal Inspection Service sent KXAN a statement Tuesday saying their workers are trained to recognize suspicious items, always. 

The statement reads:

The U.S. Postal Service has developed a comprehensive approach to protecting the mail system by utilizing a targeted strategy of specialized technology, screening protocols and employee training. The Postal Inspection Service has organized response teams nationwide for investigating suspicious parcels through our Dangerous Mail Investigations (DMI) Program. DMI Inspectors are trained to recognize the common characteristics of suspicious mail and are highly proficient in the use of state-of-the-art equipment to include portable X-ray machines. Any reports of suspicious mailings are taken very seriously, as they may impact the safety of postal employees and disrupt the processing of mail. We strive to provide a safe and secure mail system, preserve the integrity of the mail, and, most importantly, ensure a safe environment for postal employees, Postal Service customers, and the American public. In order to prevent attempts to compromise the effectiveness of our investigative methods, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service does not comment publicly on our investigative procedures and operational protocols."

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