Community, Delivery Companies Taking Extra Steps for Package Safety

AUSTIN (Nexstar) - Since urging the community to reach out to authorities about any suspicious packages people come across, the Austin Police Department says it has received more than 200 calls.

While all of those have been determined to be safe packages, police are continuing to remind people to remain vigilant about unexpected and suspicious packages following two blasts Monday morning, in a string of three over the last two weeks.

"We have lost two lives," Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said. "We have an additional two lives that have been forever changed. We can't take that away, but our hearts go out to the families involved in this incident."

Seventeen-year-old Dralen Mason was killed in the explosion that took place on Oldfort Hill Drive. Right now, his mother is still in a hospital in stable condition.

The bombing on Galindo Street injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman, who authorities say remains in critical condition.

Anthony Stephan House was killed in the first explosion from March 2. 

Austin resident Landon Thiele and his fiance have been receiving piles of packages each day as they prepare for their wedding.

"We're getting rocks for centerpieces, we're getting appliances we're upgrading, we're getting napkins, tablecloths, anything you can imagine," Thiele said.

Most packages they've received are wrapped in tape from the companies they've been shipped from, but not all, Thiele said. He said he didn't really think about it until he heard the news about the explosions.

"My mom gave me a call and said, 'you know hon, I know you're getting a lot of packages with the wedding coming up -- you're not necessarily expecting them, so make sure you're looking at the labels and make sure it's a legitimate package,'" he said. "It's made me a little more conscious to make sure I look at a label."

Authorities say the packages from the explosions aren't from any mail or delivery service. They believe someone created them and placed them on the doorsteps themselves.

Ronnie Garcia, fleet supervisor with Ace Delivery, said they've been making sure to remind customers to double check the packages they receive if they're awaiting a shipment.

"If they get a package that isn't from us, investigate it," Garcia said. "Don't touch it, but look at it to ensure it has a stamp. We have our own personal stickers on our packages to let them know it's from us."

A combined reward of $65,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information leading to the identification and the arrest in the deadly explosions.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News