Local and federal agencies are investigating the recent package explosions in Austin and Schertz — and Texans are worried, unsure of what to expect when a box appears at the front door.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is urging all parcel companies, like UPS and FedEx, to report any suspicious activity or packages to local and state law enforcement agencies so they can be examined for possible explosive materials.
“The governor’s office has provided seven X-ray machines to places like that so that they can determine if they have bombs in them or not,” Paxton said
Both FedEx and UPS corporate offices issued statements that they are cooperating with law enforcement agencies in their investigation into the package bombings in Austin and in Schertz, a city north of San Antonio.
Robert Bolen, with the United States Postal Service in Austin, said in a statement that they have not made any changes to their security operations, and the postal service’s Dangerous Mail Investigations group continues to monitor all day-to-day activities for suspicious packages.
But what about those potentially on the receiving end of these packages once they leave a distribution center, or those who see a strange box on the ground? What should they be considering?
These are questions that concern Austin homeowner Tino Dominguez, who walks his kids every morning to their bus stop, located directly across the street from a FedEx facility in Austin that police are now investigating.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking with my kids going to school, walking to the bus stop. You know — I don't know if my kids are walking and end up hitting a trip wire that we don’t know about,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez said life for his family is very different since the bombings began this month.
“We order packages at least two to three times a week for my wife’s in-home business, so it’s at a point now that when the packages come, we just open the door and I kind of poke at it with a stick just to make sure there is nothing wrong with it,” he said, “and I just stay behind the door because I’m just hoping to the door will be some type of barrier if it explodes.”
Police are asking homeowners in Austin, Schertz, San Antonio and now around the state to notify police immediately if they receive a suspicious or unexpected package.
Ryan Poppe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1