NYPD: Electronic Greeting Card Causes Midtown Bank Scare
NEW YORK (AP) – A white envelope delivered to an Israeli bank Wednesday aroused suspicion and brought out the bomb squad but turned out to be an recordable greeting card from a headhunting firm, police said.
The 6-inch by 3-inch package was deemed suspicious because it was wrapped in bubble wrap and addressed to an officer of Bank Hapoalim, near Rockefeller Center, but the name was misspelled and there was no return address, police said. It was X-rayed in a mailroom, where wires and a battery were detected, so the bomb squad was called at about 10 a.m.
Officers examined it and opened it safely, and found it was an electronic greeting card, police said.
The mail room and a few floors above and below were evacuated as a precaution. No traffic was disrupted, and workers were being allowed back in by midday Wednesday.
On an average day, New York City police get 90 to 100 reports of suspicious packages. Later Wednesday, an unattended backpack at Pennsylvania Station was found to be harmless.
Representatives of Bank Hapoalim in Israel briefly lost contact with the New York branch after the package was reported, but a spokeswoman said the branch was getting back to normal.
There were dozens of firefighters and police officers outside the building that houses the bank, and office workers were milling around waiting for the all-clear to go back to work.
Diana David, an administrative assistant at a different bank on the seventh floor of the building, said she evacuated herself out of caution.
“On Sept. 11 people were told to stay in place. A lot of people died because of it,” she said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)