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Suspicious box left outside Sisters Library prompts caution; X-ray finds it’s full of books

(Update: adding video, more details from sheriff's office; occupants of City Hall, 2 other buildings advised shelter in place)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A suspicious Styrofoam box left by the front door of the Deschutes Public Library branch in Sisters brought Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies to the scene Tuesday morning -- and soon, people in a few nearby buildings, including City Hall, were advised to shelter in place while it was checked out.

An Oregon State Police bomb squad technician in Bend was called to the scene, X-rayed the box and found it was full of … books.

The staff at the library called sheriff’s dispatchers shortly before 10 a.m., Lt. Chad Davis said.

“They were opening, and during their initial walk-around of the facility found a Styrofoam box near the front door, outside the door,” Davis said. “They called us, we called the OSP bomb squad. They sent their technician from Bend, who came and X-rayed the box, found it was books.”

Davis said the library staff did not overreact -- and did the right thing.

“They were closed for two days over the weekend, Sunday and Monday,” he said. “They don’t take donations. There was no note, or anything written on it. They were being diligent.”

“We don’t open boxes that are unknown to us, either,” Davis added.

Sisters City Hall, the Sisters School District Administration Building and Sisters Dental were advised to shelter in place for close to two hours, while a DCSO social media post advised others to “please avoid the area” until the all-clear.

This incident follows another false alarm that happened last week in Bend.

Someone reported an armed subject at COCC in Bend, putting area schools in lockdown -- later found to be a person holding a compass.

"We haven't seen an increase (in such incidents), but we always ask people to be vigilant and when something doesn't look right to always call." Davis said.

He says it's always better to be safe than sorry.

"Over the years, there have been a few incidents that have occurred, and we get these in Central Oregon on occasion," Davis said. "Its not out of the ordinary, but we just always try to be cautious -- there have been incidents out of the area where this has been the real deal, and this has been a bomb."

"So we try and treat every one of them like it could be," he said.

Article Topic Follows: Sisters

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Barney Lerten

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