Anyone who receives mail should be aware of the indicators of a suspicious package. The presence of one or more of the following features is cause for concern:
- Unexpected mail with foreign postmarks, airmail, or uncharacteristic or abnormal delivery markings.
- Postage irregularities, including excessive postage, no postage, or unusual stamps.
- No postmark (may indicate hand delivery).
- Badly typed, misspelled, or poorly written addresses and markings.
- Oddly shaped, unevenly weighted, lopsided, or lumpy package.
- Odor, stains, or discoloration.
- Protruding wires, tinfoil, or other conductive materials.
- Package left by an unknown person.
What to Do
If you discover or receive a suspicious letter or package, follow these procedures:
- Suspicious packages may be considered to be police evidence – handle them accordingly.
- Avoid radio and mobile phone use in close proximity to the package.
- If the package is stained, discolored, or emits an odor, DO NOT attempt to identify the substance. If you come in contact with a leaking substance, wash your hands and exposed skin vigorously with soap and running water for at least 15 minutes.
- Immediately contact the UIC Police Department (UICPD) at (312) 355-5555, and give the dispatcher a description of the location, type of package, and other details. Make sure to call using a landline phone.
- In some cases, it may be best not to evacuate. UICPD, in partnership with local authorities, will decide whether or not to evacuate the area.
- Take no further action until you are advised to do so by UICPD, the Chicago Police Department, or other emergency responders.
- DO NOT attempt to open the package.
- DO NOT handle, shake, or move the package.
If you suspect the mail or package contains a bomb (explosive) or a chemical, biological, or radiological threat: Call the UIC Police Department at (312) 355-5555