A suspicious package that caused the closure of a stretch of South Dale Mabry Highway for a few hours late this morning ended up containing garbage.
All of the lanes of South Dale Mabry Highway between Bay to Bay Boulevard and San Juan Street have since reopened.
Shortly after that, a bomb threat led to the temporary evacuation of a Tampa bank. The two events are believed to be unrelated.
According to a press release from the Tampa Police Department, a woman riding her bike Tuesday morning noticed an unattended package under a mailbox at Dale Mabry and Santiago Street West. Forty-five minutes later, she realized that the package was still there and she called 911. An officer arrived at the scene and found that there was no return address or postage on the package, which was addressed to the Tampa Bay Times.
After a Tampa Police K-9 detected a suspicious scent on the package, the Regional Bomb Team was dispatched to the scene. The team determined the package was filled with garbage.
Law enforcement officials are now trying to figure out what odor the dog detected. They add that while an odor by itself can be harmless, if it's combined with other chemicals it could be considered harmful.
In an apparently unrelated case, Tampa Police also evacuated the Fifth Third Bank at 201 Kennedy Blvd. after someone called in a bomb threat just after 11 a.m. The bomb team and police K-9s searched the bank and found nothing. The bank reopened around 1 p.m.
Terminal 3 of the Port of Tampa was temporarily evacuated last week after two specially trained K-9s alerted to an item at a dock near a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. That item ended up being a
Magnesium Nitrate Hexahydrate, a chemical that can be used to build an explosive device and is also a one of the chemical compounds that explosive detection dogs are trained to smell.