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Mailbox tampering and a lack of help.

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posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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I'm not sure where to post this, so mods, please help with a proper spot.

Also, this is my first thread. So if the links or pics don't post right, bear with this newbie.

I got a call this morning from my neighbor. She said she went out to mail a letter and her flag was already up, which made her curious. When she opened her mailbox, it was full of a white powder. She freaked out and called me to see if mine was too. I went out and checked, and to my surprise, it was!

I came inside, washed my hands and face and called 911... The operator was VERY upset that I would call with a non emergency and gave me a different number to call. The Sheriff came by and seemed pissy about being bothered. He checked out our mailbox's and a few others and five of us were vandalized... One guy had his mail torn up and thrown in another neighbors yard and another had his mail covered in this powder... The Sheriff called the fire department and they came out to see what the substance was.



Here's a pic of the powder.



After testing the substance, they concluded it was, Calcium hydrogenphosphate dihydrate. Some form of food processing chemical. www.chemicalbook.com...

They deemed it no big deal and told me to just wash it off with a hose.... After a quick Google search, I found the following.


"Dicalcium phosphate, also known as calcium monohydrogen phosphate, is a dibasic calcium phosphate. It is usually found as the dihydrate, with the chemical formula of CaHPO4 • 2H2O, but it can be thermally converted to the anhydrous form. It is practically insoluble in water, with a solubility of 0.02 g per 100 mL at 25 °C. It contains about 29.5 percent calcium in its anhydrous form."

Safety precautions:

26: In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice
27: Take off immediately all contaminated clothing
28: After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of ... (to be specified by the manufacturer)
29: Do not empty into drains
30: Never add water to this product
33: Take precautionary measures against static discharges
35: This material and its container must be disposed of in a safe way
36: Wear suitable protective clothing


The fireman said to wear rubber gloves when I cleaned it up, as it was an irritant.

I did clean everyone's mailbox, but I'm saddened at how this all transpired.

Here's my list of concerns:
911 is not the place to call if your mailbox has a suspicious white powder.
Tampering with mail and mailbox's is not a concern to the authorities.
I had to clean the mess up myself.
The Firemen used my computer to Google what this substance was.(they did have the kit to break the substance down to determine it's origin)
I am on a well and don't really want that stuff contaminating my water.


Thought I'd throw this out to ATS and here your thoughts.
Did I go overboard calling 911?
Do y'all think it was handled properly?
How would you have handled the situation?

If anyone has any questions, just ask.


 

Posting Work Written by Others - Please read!!


edit on March 21st 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by KawRider9
 


Did I go overboard calling 911?


No...a white 'substance' is a concern these days.





But the rest of it seems to be drama...and all of it coming from you.


With that said - glad you're ok...



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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With everything that is going on in the world...the police should have done more...but since the fire department came out and even tested the stuff and found it to be essentially harmless then no worries.

If you want to have it investigated then don't call the police...call the Postal Inspector as it is a felony to mess with a mailbox or the mail. they will most likely do the same things...not much but if another incident occurs they may investigate a little more...the postal inspector and not the police are the ones to call



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by KawRider9
 


I would notify the post office, probably in person. They have Postal Inspectors.

Also I am floored at the lack of respect you were treated with by the 911 operator as well as the officer on the scene. Outrageous behavior!



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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I suspect possibly your choice of words used during the 911 call could be the reason to the lack of concern. For example, if you started with something along the lines of, "hey, someone has been messing with my mailbox..." I could easily see the 911 operator jumping to the conclusion that this was a simple report of vandalism.

However, if you had stated, "I need to report an exposure to an unknown white powdery substance", the operator may have had a different immediate reaction.

It's all in how it was phrased. Is that something you could share with us? No matter what, it sounds like the operator failed to see to potential situation and react accordingly.

And yes, as Ameilia above mentioned, the Postmaster will be a better person to report the mailbox tampering.
edit on 3/21/12 by AnonymousCitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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The fact that your emergency service number is 911 still shocks me every time I see it. I was aware of it before 9/11/01 but since that awful day, I am surprised they haven't changed the number, a lot of people feel fear at the thought of 9/11. My mind starts to wonder into very dark territory contemplating these coincidences?!



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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Your post reminds me of when I worked for homeland security / immigration. A few times while I worked there, somebody mailed white powder in an envelope. When a worker would open up the envelope, they had to stay right where they were and yell for help.

Their area would be cordoned off, they weren't allowed to leave their seat, everybody else was evacuated out of the building, and hazmat would be called. They would come in fully suited up, while the worker still in their chair would be crying with fear. The police would be called. It was ALWAYS a big deal, with high drama.

It was, in the time I was there, never anything but flour, pancake mix or baby powder. Nevertheless, a full emergency scenario played out each and every time.

Yet, when it happens to an individual, you are treated with irritation, scorn, and disrespect....Even though the substance is not supposed to be handled without care and you cannot apply water to it. Amazing.

How much you wanna bet that, if you were caught putting that white powder down a storm drain, you would get arrested and the EPA would fine you from here until Doomsday? I guess it's only government offices that have protection and respect when it comes to strange white powders. Individuals are screwed.



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by facelift
 


Would you please explain the drama that I have caused?

I called the police...... They didn't care.

The fire department didn't care.

I posted this to let the ATS community hear what happened today... If I did anything wrong, I apologize in advance!

I just thought this was odd and worthy of its own thread... Apparently I was wrong.



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by KawRider9
reply to post by facelift
 


Would you please explain the drama that I have caused?

I called the police...... They didn't care.

The fire department didn't care.

I posted this to let the ATS community hear what happened today... If I did anything wrong, I apologize in advance!

I just thought this was odd and worthy of its own thread... Apparently I was wrong.


FWIW, I agree with the member above, I would contact the postal inspector...USPI - Mailbox Vandalisim fill out the form and be very detailed (comment box at bottom)

Best of luck!
edit on March 21st 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by Wide-Eyes
 


Sorry I just had to comment on that as being very weird! its only a couple of similar numbers. If the number to dial was in fact 91101 then that would be a bit more odd, but random coincidences like that really need to be looked at for what they are - just odd random similarities. What's more interesting and curious are actually evidence rather than coincidences which line up all the time. You can match almost any number to the date when something big and awful happened or match it's date to a number that had relevance to the incident. It happens all the time and is one thing that people use to label theorists as mad because it's obviously just a coincidence and besides that it offers nothing else on the situation at all, no additional evidence and if someone wanted to for example stage something so massive and big I doubt that matching the date to an emergency service number for example would be on their mind.

And why change it? Everyone knows that it happened and those numbers have been in place for ages and I doubt people always think '9-1-1 0 oh God I'm sad now I thought of that, that really bums me out for the day now' especially when they have an emergency situation of their own to deal with! lol.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 08:42 AM
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I was asked to give an update, so here it goes.

When I called 911, I was polite and stated that I needed to report an unknown white powder in my mailbox, she then freaked out on me telling me that this was an emergency number and not to call with petty problems. When I said what if it's anthrax, she said she's sure it's not and that was the extent of our conversation.

Two days later another group of mailbox's were hit with the same stuff. Nothing came from that incident either. The Postal inspector was informed in both cases and he was not concerned. All he did was inform the mailmen not to get near the box's and to hand deliver the mail.

The story will be in tomorrow's paper and I will post the link as soon as it's available.

I'm not concerned about the powder, as it was basically harmless, I'm just floored how this whole thing transpired... Not one agency seemed to care that mail had been tampered with. I thought that was a Federal crime and not taking lightly. I obviously thought wrong.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Damn the luck. Not only did they spell my name wrong in the article, they twisted my words around and didn't add in the second batch of tampering... Oh well, here's the link to the story.

www.eastpeoriatimescourier.com...
In the article, the fire chief wants to know where I got my information from. Well, I guess I'm a regular Colombo, considering they used my computer to Google what this chemical was. All I did was go to my history and click on the same link they were on. I'm brilliant!

And no, I didn't say, "Christ, what have I done?"... Thanks Mr. reporter, for making me sound like a drama queen!



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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OK. Try this...

Using scotch tape- put a piece onto the mailbox doors tab. You should be able to pull a print...stick it to black poster-board.

Collect a weeks worth of prints. Find-out how many letter-carriers deliver to your mailbox, and who in your household collects the mail...

If you should encounter this powder again, you should be able to collect the print before you even discover the powder was left again, providing collecting prints before opening mailbox each day is practiced.

That's putting your tax dollars to work!

It'd be a darn shame if the culprit knew to wear gloves...
edit on (3/28/1212 by loveguy because: Hey, I tried.




posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by KawRider9
 


Next time just mail the substance to the cops. Maybe then they'll care.



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 12:25 AM
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reply to post by KawRider9
 


I don't think they made you sound like a drama queen. I think the article demonstrated the lack of appropriate response on behalf of the 911 operator, the police, and Hazmat.

They quote you as:



He dialed 911. “The lady on the other end of the phone was quite upset with me,” Owens said. “She said we had called for a ‘non-emergency.’ How does she know?”

And then follow up with:



Concerning the 911 dispatcher’s response Tammie Conover, a Taz-Com supervisor, said she would have done exactly what Owens did. “I would have considered it an emergency,” Conover said.

Which demonstrates another person besides yourself who agrees that the 911 operator should have regarded your call as an emergency.

The article also states:



The hazmat team swabbed the material. It was found to be a caustic food processing material called Calcium hydrogenphosphate dihydrate. “The hazmat team told us to rinse it out with water,” Owens said, and left.

And then they follow up with all the safety information regarding this chemical which includes:



• Do not empty into drains • Never add water to this product


Believe me, if anyone comes across badly in this article, it is definitely not you. I firmly believe you acted appropriately at all times during this situation by notifying the authorities, following their instructions, and allowing yourself to be quoted by a local reporter.

This article raises enough questions that I wouldn't be surprised if there were a further police or government response.

1.) The 911 operator didn't think this was an emergency. The majority of Americans will believe it was, and people will want to know why it was deemed non-emergency. I would be concerned about this if this had happened near where I live. What if I find a "substance" in my mailbox? You can bet this will occur to people.

2.) TWO Fire Departments said they were unequipped to handle the situation. Really? Well who are you supposed to notify if not the authorities? I'll just sit here and wait for the FBI to show up while me and my neighbors potentially contract a fatal illness. Geez, thanks. This will also occur to people.

3.) The Hazmat team advised you to dispose of the substance in an inappropriate manner. Furthermore, the Hazmat team advised you to dispose of the substance yourself. Why? They are Hazmat and they should have done it, and done it correctly. This will also occur to people.

Thank you very much for the update.

Source of quotes:

Article



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by KawRider9
 


I had no idea that 911 wouldn't take "white powder" calls.

The mailbox tampering should be reported to the headmaster at the local or regional postal service.

Most counties have an emergency managemnet team to check the powder.

The whole white powder thing is growing like crazy over the US ... see here ... outbreaks.globalincidentmap.com... and scroll down to the section on:

Biological Incidents/ Threats/ Anthrax Hoaxes etc
That section includes the last month only. The white powder hoax is extensive and consumes a lot of needed resources while numbing us to white powder.

Take your police report to your local Postmaster General.



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 03:18 PM
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That much powder in 2 mailboxes is the sign of a prank, not a sneaky sabotage attempt. The flags being up, that amount of powder, the prankster was most likely 10 years old and was trying to freak out the mailman, who he probably knew. Oh no, it looks like...ricin? Really? Makes you wonder how someone could get that much ricin into 2 mailboxes without getting sick along the way. The prankster is probably one of your neighbors, and that stuff was the powder he bought from a teen drug seller who swore up and down it was coc aine but turned out to be bath salts. The kid was probably hiding behind a tree with a smart phone to get the freak out on video so he can post it to YouTube and ATS.

Next time leave it there for the postal worker, who will then freak out about Al-Qaida in the mailbox 3 feet above the ground. Then it will become a gigantic scene, fit for TV stations and your 6 word blurb taken out of context (you say, "I thought..." and they quote you as "...it was something a terrorist did...") to support the postal worker's theory. You will become an ATS hero survivor, complete with co-branded T-shirts, people will march in your honor, and politicians will make a new law for RFID stamps, and GPS-located, electronically-locked pickup mailboxes that can't be unlocked without a retina scan, to make sure we are still proud to be Americans.

911 was too far out. That is if you are bleeding out your ears or if the walls are melting after inhaling some of the dust. Have your local police station number in your phone to send a going-to-retire-next-week officer out to make a report.

Keep the powder. It might work to kill ants.
edit on 1-4-2012 by Sandalphon because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by loveguy
OK. Try this...

Using scotch tape- put a piece onto the mailbox doors tab. You should be able to pull a print...stick it to black poster-board.

Collect a weeks worth of prints. Find-out how many letter-carriers deliver to your mailbox, and who in your household collects the mail...

If you should encounter this powder again, you should be able to collect the print before you even discover the powder was left again, providing collecting prints before opening mailbox each day is practiced.

That's putting your tax dollars to work!

It'd be a darn shame if the culprit knew to wear gloves...
edit on (3/28/1212 by loveguy because: Hey, I tried.



Or skip the CSI : Peoria and put a video camera on your mailbox. You might find the prankster that put the powder in, pulling out something else, like bank statements. Better yet, put the camera in your box, to work only on motion detection. No, no, mail yourself something juicy to a stupid punk, like a bubblepak of random stealy things, maybe a cell phone, leave it in the box as bait all week, and just wait until he takes the GPS goodie bag home.

Collecting prints only works when you have names connected to prints.
edit on 1-4-2012 by Sandalphon because: (no reason given)



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