December 1, 2011

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Mahopac woman receives Christmas card with white powder

CARMEL – Carmel Town Police are investigating an incident of a 44-year-old Mahopac woman receiving an anonymous Christmas card in the mail containing a white powder. After investigation, it turned out the substance was folic acid.

She drove it to the Carmel Police station on McAlpin Avenue at 5 p.m. Monday and told officers when she touched the powder the previous night and that afternoon, she felt numbness to her face and watery eyes.

She was asked to leave the lobby of the police station and place the envelope outside.

A Putnam County hazmat team and Mahopac Fire Department responded along with a Postal Police inspector assigned to the dangerous mail investigation division.

The powder was tested at the scene and determined to be folic acid, which is considered harmless, police said. The scene was considered safe at 7:10 p.m.

Carmel Police and postal inspectors are investigating the incident further.

At no time during the incident were police emergency communications for residents disrupted.

Police advise anyone receiving a suspicious package or mail with unknown foreign substances not to attempt to transport them, but immediately call their local police. The substances should be isolated as best as possible at the location in which they were opened so as not to contaminate other locations or people, they said. In most case of suspicious substances, they are found to be non-hazardous, police said.


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