Alarm clock in package triggers a bomb scare

By Sharon Salyer

Herald Writer

LAKE STEVENS — The post office was evacuated. City streets were blocked off. Several nearby businesses were emptied. And the Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad was summoned.

All that unfolded Monday after a package emitting a suspicious beeping sound was discovered at the post office at 1709 Main St.

Although the story has a happy — and benign — ending, Police Chief Randy Celori said it serves as a good reminder about taking precautions when sending electronic objects in the mail.

Police arrived at 8:39 a.m. and found a package addressed to a Lake Stevens resident with a return address of Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

"Once the officer determined it was emitting a beeping nose, the post office was evacuated," Celori said.

Officers advised people to leave a nearby chiropractor’s office and training center, a small apartment complex and the glass-enclosed portion of the Lake Shore Inn.

"We basically shut down a city block surrounding the post office," Celori said.

While the bomb squad was being summoned, police contacted the person to whom the package was addressed.

The woman, who was not identified, had just completed her initial Air Force training in Texas. She had returned to Lake Stevens on vacation and had sent home a package with some of her belongings, the police chief said.

The woman told police what was in the package and gave permission for officers to open it and check its contents. Among her personal belongings was the source of the beeping — an alarm clock.

Even before last year’s terrorist attacks, a similar incident may have trigged a similar emergency response, Celori said.

"We need to be a little cautious on what we send in the mail," he said. "Alarm clocks or toys could let off certain noises that may alarm people."

You can call Herald Writer Sharon Salyer at 425-339-3486

or send e-mail to

Talk to us

More in Local News

Top row (L-R): Paul Roberts, Mary Fosse, Paula Rhyne, Greg Lineberry, Don Schwab. Bottom row (L-R):Lacey Sauvageau, Tommie Rubatino, Liz Vogeli, Ben Zarlingo, Demi Chatters.
Who’s running for Everett council? New candidates — a lot of them

Ten people are vying for positions newly defined by districts. Only two are incumbents.

Steve Oss (left) and Cassie Franklin.
Budget and homelessness at center of Everett mayor’s race

Steve Oss, a longtime transit worker, is challenging incumbent Cassie Franklin.

FILE - This October 2021, photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Puurs, Belgium. The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding vaccinations for millions more children as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday, Oct. 26, endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's shots for 5- to 11-year-olds. (Pfizer via AP, File)
Pfizer vaccines for younger kids expected in state next week

The Health Department estimates about 30% of parents will seek shots immediately for children ages 5-11.

Gene Simmons impersonator, Jack Murrin practices on there bass guitar at his storage building on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Murrin, 51, a firefighter and impersonator, is putting on a 2-hour KISS concert with 19 songs in front of his north Everett home on Halloween.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Demon: Gene Simmons imitator hosts a free Kiss concert

Everett firefighter and paramedic Jack Murrin will return to the stage for a Halloween show at his home.

The parking lot of a Lynnwood apartment complex in the 19800 block of 50th Avenue West where a man was allegedly stabbed Friday night. (Lynnwood Police)
Lynnwood man arrested for allegedly stabbing acquaintance

They were arguing at an apartment complex and began fighting.

Caregiver charged with raping Everett woman with dementia

A DNA sample found “very strong support” that Kelvin Njeru was the suspect, prosecutors allege.

Vincent Cavaleri (City of Mill Creek) 20211025
Mill Creek councilman invites unvaccinated officers to apply

Police said a staffing shortage could become a crisis. So the City Council approved hiring bonuses.

Police block roads in south Everett in search for suspect

Officers were trying to arrest a suspect near Everett Mall Way and Third Avenue Southeast.

Woman, 60, shot after neighbor dispute near Everett

The suspect, 19, confronted the woman with a shotgun, and allegedly shot her.

Most Read