Mandeville residents evacuated after suspicious package found - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Mandeville residents evacuated after suspicious package found

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Mandeville -- A suspicious device in Mandeville keeps residents from their homes for hours, and shuts down streets. It was discovered Saturday morning on the front porch of a home on Devon Drive in the Golden Glen subdivision.

A homeowner found the old, red briefcase on his doorstep at 11:30 Saturday morning. Police say the man is a former IRS agent who thought there may be people out to get him because of a case he'd worked on before he retired. Fearing the worst, he called police, who cordoned off the area.

Mandeville police Chief Rick Richard says, "An x-ray of the device was taken and it was a mirror image of a pipe bomb..had all the wiring and everything else, just looked like the real deal."

A couple dozen homeowners were evacuated...others weren't allowed onto the street for hours. "I tried to get to my house and he was like, don't go that way, there's a bomb so then I had to drive through Monroe and park across the park and then walk to my house," said resident Alexis Durand.

Roads near Mandeville City Hall, located next to the subdivision, were shut down. A St. Tammany Parish helicopter flew overhead, monitoring the situation from above, while the St. Tammany bomb squad went to work dismantling the suspicious package.

Chief Richard explains, "Used a robot to shoot a water blast at the briefcase and that blew the briefcase open, which it was intended to do and hopefully not detonate the device. Well, when it blew open, kinda destroyed the brief case and what it really was, it ended up being a chess set."

Chief Richard explains why and how the chess set looked like a pipe bomb in the x-ray saying, "It's old looking and what looked like wires was some thick thread that was in this satin container."

The chief says the homeowner did the right thing by calling police. They're still trying to figure out why someone left a chess set on the man's front porch.

Although it took almost six hours for the device to be dismantled, residents we spoke to say they didn't mind the inconvenience and are just glad that it was only a chess set and everyone is safe.

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