Suspicious Package

Anyone who receives mail should be aware of the indicators of a suspicious package. The presence of one more of the following features is cause for concern:

  • Unexpected mail with foreign postmarks, airmail, or uncharacteristic or abnormal delivery markings
  • Postage irregularities, including excessive postage, no postage, or unusual stamps
  • No postmark (may indicate hand delivery)
  • Badly typed, misspelled, or poorly written addresses and markings
  • Oddly shaped, unevenly weighted, lopsided, or lumpy package
  • Odor, stains, or discoloration
  • Protruding wires, tinfoil, or other conductive materials
  • Package left by an unknown person


If you discover or receive a suspicious letter or package, follow these procedures:

  • DO NOT attempt to open the package.
  • DO NOT handle, shake, or move the package.
  • Suspicious packages may be considered to be police evidence and should be handled accordingly.
  • Avoid radio and cell phone use in close proximity to the package.
  • If the package is stained, discolored, or emits an odor, do not attempt to identify the substance. If you come in contact with a leaking substance, wash your hands and exposed skin vigorously with soap and flowing water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Immediately contact UIC Police at (312) 355-5555 and give the dispatcher a description of the location, type of package, and other details. Make sure to call using a landline phone.
  • In some cases, it may be best not to evacuate. UIC Police, in partnership with local authorities, will decide whether or not to evacuate the area.
  • Take no further action until you are advised to do so by the UIC Police, the Chicago Police Department, or other emergency responders.