Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Updated: Loudoun County mall parking lots locked down due to suspicious package

Not one of the more enjoyable evenings I’ve spent. The Dulles Town Center mall here in Loudoun County had a “suspicious package” turn up in one of the parking lots. The Sheriff’s department set up a perimeter about 200-250 yards across (presumably centered on the package) and denied all access to the lots within. That’s The particular area is where a major entry point to the mall is - naturally - and so this wound up locking about a third of the mall’s patrons out of their cars.

Me included. And my wife. Both cars and no way home.

It took about 4 hours, I believe, to get things figured out. Neither the local news, who did have a camera crew present, nor the County’s alert system is carrying any news about the incident yet. I have pictures from my camera phone and I’ll post those in the morning. Right now my toddler is way tired and I just want to relax a bit.

More on this later.

Update: There’s still nothing on this incident in the news or in the press releases at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s site. While waiting for the package to be cleared - I assume - I managed to take a couple of shots on my camera phone and I’ve put them up for you. The first shows the emergency crews gathered at their action stations. It’s hard to make out given the lighting and whatnot but there was a large police presence coordinating the emergency teams.

Loudoun emergency teams waiting

This shot shows the bomb truck waiting at the perimeter of the locked-down zone. Loudoun’s “truck” is actually a trailer - it’s the white ball behind that dark SUV near the center of the shot.

Loudoun’s bomb truck standing by

I don’t know if the package was ever brought to the truck or anything else at this point. When a release is put out, I’ll link it here.