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Suspicious Package Causes Alarm at Route 18 Air Force Recruiting Station

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The package was addressed to the U.S. Air Force recruiters. Credits: U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Maltese
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Flammable "tiki" fluid drew the attention of the bomb squad and police. Credits: U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Maltese
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EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At around 10:30 a.m., East Brunswick police were contacted by the United States Air Force Recruiting Station on Route 18 south with the report of a "suspicious package" left at the office doorway.

Police, firefighters, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, emergency medical responders and vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security then secured the location and investigated the package, using the parking lot of the Auto Zone as a staging area.

"We often have random packages left here," Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Maltese said, noting that the office is near a bus stop. "Sometimes people leave backpacks or bags of garbage nearby."

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But Maltese added, "We reported this package because it was specifically addressed to us."

The package was a pieced-together brown-paper shopping bag with handles and "For the Air Force Admissions" written on it. It contained some household incendiary items that included lighter fluid for Tiki lamps, epoxy adhesive and torn pieces of paper in a fishbowl. According to Maltese, the pieces of paper looked as if they were torn from a yearbook. The same person's name was circled on each fragment of a page. There were no electronics or other devices that could have served as an ignition component or a fuse.

Staff members of the recruiting station found the package around 9:30 a.m., when they came to work. The office had been closed since around 5:30 p.m. Friday.

East Brunswick Police Lt. Sean Goggins issued a statement following this morning's incident: "At 10:34 am on Monday, June 26, 2017, East Brunswick Police responded to the Air Force Recruitment Center on Route 18 South for a suspicious package located in front of the building. A large brown paper shopping bag was located in the front of the building which contained a tiki torch bottle containing an unknown liquid sticking out of the top of the bag. The building was evacuated, East Brunswick Independent Fire Company and Atlantic Rescue Squad responded and were placed on standby. The Middlesex County Sherrif’s Department also responded with a K9 along with members of the NJSP Bomb Unit and East Brunswick Police Office of Emergency Management. The suspicious package was deemed safe and recovered by East Brunswick Detectives and the investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information please contact Detective Kim DiParisi at 732-390-6990."

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