Tuesday, 02 January 2018 14:33

Suspicious package a hoax

Macleod Street in Bairnsdale, between Bailey and Wood streets, was closed for more than six hours Saturday night after a suspicious package was found outside Centrelink. The Bomb Squad from Melbourne was called to the scene after a 000 caller alerted police to the unusual package at about 5.30pm. Two members of the Bomb Squad, with their hi-tech bomb response robot, arrived about 11pm with their and the road was still closed after 12.30am Sunday. Police say the package - three plastic bottles containing syringes taped together with gaffer tape and taped underneath the arm of a chair – was made to look like an explosive device.

Local police, Bairnsdale Fire Brigade volunteers, the communications van and a light tower (erected at about 9.30pm) were all set up in the cordoned off section of road. A steady stream of passing motorists increased as darkness fell and emergency services vehicle lights became more noticeable from passing traffic on Main Street and continued late into the night. The package was found to be a hoax and the local Criminal Investigation Unit is now investigating. Phone records are also being probed to determine who made the 000 call informing authorities of the package outside the Centrelink office. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bairnsdale Police or Crimestoppers.