October 1st, 2020

Suspicious package at police station just a good deed handled poorly

By JEREMY APPEL on March 25, 2020.

jappel@medicinehatnews.com@MHNJeremyAppel

A suspicious package left in the foyer of the police station was ultimately a bag of somebody’s personal belongings.

Medicine Hat Police Service Staff Sgt. Jason Graham says officers who were monitoring the front desk, which is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noticed a black bag between the two doors leading into the station Tuesday.

Checking the surveillance footage, it became clear that a woman entered the foyer with the bag and left it there without making any effort to get inside.

“They just left the bag there and proceeded to walk out. Under normal circumstances, that’s still suspicious activity. We would never encourage people to just leave a bag anywhere in the city and just walk away,” said Graham.

As a result, building staff called the Explosive Disposal Unit to the scene, where they x-rayed the bag and determined the package to be benign.

The bag’s contents consisted of documents, papers and identification.

“It appears as though someone may have found something and wanted to return it to its owner, didn’t know how to get it to the owner and wanted help with that, which we do all the time,” Graham said.

He says there’s no criminal investigation ongoing and that police are merely looking for the contents’ rightful owner.

“Would we like to talk to the person who dropped it off? Absolutely, but with our messaging we have provided to the public, they will read it and hopefully adhere to the good practice of not leaving something unattended like that again,” Graham said. “It was good intentions, but it could have been handled a little better.”

Those who want to report found property should do so over the phone by calling the MHPS’s non-emergency line at 403-529-8481.

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