VIDEO

Beeping cellphone causes bomb scare in Portland

Posted May 19, 2012, at 2:45 p.m.
Last modified May 20, 2012, at 5:38 a.m.
A 5-foot-tall robot controlled by police was being used to investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Kathryn Hayes-Hallowell
A 5-foot-tall robot controlled by police was being used to investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Portland police evacuate Federal Street and block-off streets that reach Congress, Middle and Temple streets while they investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Kathryn Hayes-Hallowell
Portland police evacuate Federal Street and block-off streets that reach Congress, Middle and Temple streets while they investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
A 5-foot-tall robot controlled by police was being used to investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Kathryn Hayes-Hallowell
A 5-foot-tall robot controlled by police was being used to investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Portland police evacuate Federal Street and block-off streets that reach Congress, Middle and Temple streets while they investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Kathryn Hayes-Hallowell
Portland police evacuate Federal Street and block-off streets that reach Congress, Middle and Temple streets while they investigate a suspicious package inside a mailbox on Federal Street in downtown Portland on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police say a suspicious package that was placed into a U.S. Postal Service mailbox and led to the evacuation of several downtown blocks turned out to be a purse with a beeping cellphone inside.

Portland police evacuated the area after a person told police about 1 p.m. Saturday about a beeping or ticking package being placed into a mailbox on Federal Street, behind the city’s main fire station.

Police brought in a remote-controlled robot and a bomb technician to investigate and blocked off several downtown streets.

The Portland Press Herald reported that police opened the mailbox shortly after 4 p.m., removed the purse and declared the incident over.

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