The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Man arrested after threat at Thornburg Post Office
UPDATE: Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania County sheriff’s office said a “fictitious device [was] used in order to commit a robbery of the post office.”
A bomb squad, which had been working for several hours, found the device to be non-functional and cleared the scene. The area around Mudd Tavern Road was re-opened around 2:45 p.m.
The man, whose name has not been released yet, will face a federal charge of robbery of a postal facility.
He is now in the custody of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Pearce said.
Authorities in Spotsylvania County have taken a man into custody after he reportedly made a threat to blow up the Thornburg Post Office.
Around 9 a.m. today, a postal worker called police and said a man there claimed to have a bomb and was going to rob the facility, said Capt Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.
Pearce said the man had a paper bag containing a box that he described as an explosive device that was armed with a mercury switch.
Spotsylvania Sheriff’s units arrived and surrounded the building, and after about 15 minutes, the suspect surrendered. He has been taken in for questioning, but has not yet been charged with anything, said Pearce. He is described as a local retired trucker in his early 50s.
The Postal Inspection Service Bomb Squad from Quantico, Virginia State Police, ATF and FBI are on scene investigating the package.
“We don’t know at this point if it’s a real device or a hoax, but we aren’t taking any chances,” said Pearce.
The Thornburg I-95 exit and Mudd Tavern Road are closed while police investigate. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
Darlene Grimm lives about two miles away on Morris Road. She said there were about 20 police cars in front of the post office. She saw a woman run out of the post office after it had been surrounded.
She said police also entered a nearby laundromat to inform patrons that the area was not safe.
She also said she and other people near the scene witnessed a man being wrestled to the ground by police some time later.
“I really couldn’t imagine what was going on at first,” she said. “I thought it was a robbery but when the woman ran out I started thinking it might be a bomb or a hostage situation.”
– Portsia Smith and Lindley Estes