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A ‘suspicious package’ in Catonsville shut down traffic for about two hours. It was a poster.

Part of Newburg Avenue in Catonsville was shut down on Sept. 11, 2019, as police investigated a suspicious package.
Part of Newburg Avenue in Catonsville was shut down on Sept. 11, 2019, as police investigated a suspicious package. (Screenshot from Google Maps)

Baltimore County police on Wednesday morning shut down Newburg Avenue between Frederick Road and Magruder Avenue after receiving a call about a suspicious package that was pipe-shaped, officials said.

Police were dispatched around 7:50 a.m., said Natalie Litofsky, a spokeswoman for the department. An unfamiliar package had been “awkwardly placed" outside a mailbox that’s attached to the outside of a building in the unit block of Newburg Avenue that houses a few businesses, including a midwife practice and a lawyer’s office. Police cleared the scene a little after 9:50 a.m.

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“It turned out to be a poster,” Litofsky said. “But it looked like a pipe. It had tape on both ends, and it was delivered to the wrong address.”

Part of the reason the incident required extra investigation is because it had been delivered to the wrong address, thus, the delivery service had no record of leaving a package at the building, Litofsky said.

The building was evacuated and access to Newburg Avenue was closed off at Frederick Road and Magruder Avenue to foot and vehicle traffic. County police called for the Hazardous Devices Team, which assessed the package and determined it was safe.

Litofsky said it’s possible that, given today is the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and that Baltimore County and Baltimore City both experienced three incidents of suspicious vehicles and suspicious activity this week, people in the area who first noticed the package were more on edge.

She called it an “abundance of caution situation."

“It’s always good to take things as seriously as you can," she said. "If people are worried about something, they should certainly call.”

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