UPDATE (11:27 p.m.) – Santa Maria Police said the substance found inside of a suspicious envelope is not harmful and will be disposed of.
Police say the package contained small items of military memorabilia wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue paper to protect them during the mailing process.
Police say the person who sent the package knew the intended recipient and had reportedly told them they were sending the package, but there was some sort of misunderstanding.
The envelope was addressed to an Arroyo Grande man but had a return address in Santa Maria. Joseph Skoda brought the package to the police department. As soon as department staff saw what it was, they closed off the building.
“I was a little scared. I didn’t know if it was a prank or something to be serious about,” Skoda said.
Skoda, Air Force veteran, says he doesn’t have enemies and wondered why the envelope was addressed to him.
With 15 suspicious packages recently identified by the FBI across the nation, SMPD took immediate action.
“Because of stuff going on nationally, of course, you want to take situations like this very seriously and that’s exactly what they did,” said Lt. Terry Flaa, Santa Maria Police Department.
UPDATE (6:25 p.m.) – The FBI has just left the scene of a suspicious package investigation at the Santa Maria Police Department.
Investigators said they still do not know what the white substance inside the package is but that it is non-life threatening at this time.
Crime scene is still up around the police department.
UPDATE (6:25 p.m.) – The Arroyo Grande man who brought a suspicious package to the Santa Maria Police Department on Monday told KSBY the envelope was addressed to him at a P.O. box in Pismo Beach. It contained a piece of paper and a baggie with a white powdery substance inside.
As of 6:25 p.m., a hazmat crew remained on scene.
SMPD suspicious package investigation
Santa Maria Police Department investigating a “suspicious package”. SMPD lobby closed down since 4 p.m. Reporter Megan Healy is live at the scene. Updates here –> https://bit.ly/2P2bK7K
Posted by KSBY on Monday, October 29, 2018
UPDATE (4:40 p.m.) – Santa Maria police say someone in Arroyo Grande received a suspicious package and brought it to the Santa Maria Police Department on Monday.
Police say there was a powdery substance in the package. The person who received the package re-packaged it. Police say the person brought the package to the police department because the package had originated in Santa Maria.
Hazmat crews and FBI agents are heading to the scene.
The Police Department is expected to be closed for a couple of hours.
Police say if you receive a suspicious package, do not transport it. Leave it where you found it and call authorities
Authorities blocked off an area of the Santa Maria Police Department to investigate a suspicious package. (KSBY photo)
(4:33 p.m.) – Santa Maria police are investigating a suspicious package at the police department.
The lobby and parking lot at the police department were shut down around 4 p.m. Monday as a precaution.
A KSBY crew at the scene says there is crime scene tape near the parking lot. The fire department is also at the scene.
Stick with KSBY for continuing coverage of this breaking news story.