Portland police destroy suspicious package at police headquarters

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PORTLAND — Police on Monday were still investigating the nature of a suspicious device brought to police headquarters on Dec. 11 after it was found by a contractor, prompting the temporary closure of Middle and Franklin streets.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said how the device ended up in a home where contractor Warren O’Shea was working may never be determined. O’Shea put the device in his van and drove it to the police station at 109 Middle St. around 3 p.m.

Police then closed Middle Street from India to Pearl streets and Franklin Street from Fore to Congress streets for three hours while deploying a Hazardous Devices Unit robot to remove the device.

Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said the device was “disrupted” by the robot with a bang and puff of smoke around 5:45 p.m. on the sidewalk near the corner of Franklin and Middle streets.

“The red flags were there,” Sauschuck said of the department’s response. He declined to describe the device as a bomb.

No one was injured in the incident, and the lower floors of businesses on Middle Street were evacuated.