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Suspicious Mail and Packages

Suspicious packages can come in all shapes and sizes. In general terms, a suspicious package is any bag, box, backpack, package or other item left unattended or that otherwise seems out of place.
Never touch or move any item that appears suspicious. Only you know what is suspicious to you so trust your instincts. Leave it exactly where it was found and immediately notify the Campus Police Department at (504) 286-5290.
Typical characteristics of suspicious letters and packages include:
  • Misspelled words.
  • Arrive unexpectedly.
  • Restrictive markings such as "Personal" or "Confidential".
  • Postmark does not match return address.
  • Badly typed or written.
  • Excessive postage.
  • No return address.
  • Wrong title or name in address.
  • Excessive tape or string.
  • Protruding wires.
  • Strange odor.
  • Crystals or powder-like residue.
  • Oily stains, discolorations or crystallization on wrapping.
  • Lopsided, rigid or bulky package.
  • Ticking sounds

Procedures for Handling Suspicious Mail and Packages

When a mail item appears suspicious, there are a number of steps you should take in order to ensure your own safety and protect the safety of others.
  • Stay calm.
  • Do not open the letter or package (or open any further), do not shake it, do not show it to others, or empty its contents.
  • Leave the letter or package where it is or gently place it on the nearest flat surface.
  • If possible, gently cover the letter (use a trash can, article of clothing, etc.).
  • Shut off any fans or equipment in the area that may circulate the material.
  • Alert others nearby to relocate to an area away from the site of the suspicious item.
  • Take essential belongings, like cell phones, keys, purse, etc. with you in case return to your office is delayed.
  • Contact the SUNO Police immediately at 504-286-3355.
  • Leave and close the door to the space containing the suspicious letter or package, cover the threshold area under the door with a towel or a coat if possible, and section off the area (keep others away).
  • Wash your hands to prevent spreading any powder or hazardous substance to your face.


Download Suspicious Mail Poster