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Officials Recommend Caution with Suspicious Packages

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Posted: Jan 11, 2013 6:19 PM

Updated: Jan 11, 2013 7:21 PM

WESLACO - Authorities said residents should call 911 if they come across suspicious packages. The warning comes in the wake of an explosion that injured a family in Brownsville.

Investigators are trying to determine who left the box with explosives outside the home in north Brownsville. The explosives went off after someone took the box into the house, officials said. The explosion happened at a home on the 3000 block of Resaca Vista Drive in north Brownsville.

Jesus Juarez, 26, Iviz Machado, 30, and their 5-year-old daughter Andrea Juarez were injured in the blast. Police said Juarez and Machado were taken to a San Antonio hospital and Andrea to one in Galveston.

Police said other family members were in the home when the explosion happened. Their refusal to cooperate with investigators has led authorities to believe the incident may be linked to cross-border criminal organizations

Emergency officials said people should never touch suspicious packages.

"You don't want to move that package, because you don't know what's in it. You don't know whether it has an explosive device, whether it has a chemical device in it," Weslaco Emergency Management Coordinator George Garrett said.

"What you want to do is secure that location. If you've got to put something around it to keep people away from it, you need to stay at that location so when law enforcement does arrive, that you can tell them what you believe you have," Garrett said.

Garrett said suspicious packages have been found in other parts of the Rio Grande Valley. Several months ago a safe fell off a truck in the parking lot of an H-E-B in Alamo. Someone thought something was leaking out of the safe and called authorities.

The McAllen Police Department Bomb Squad was called to assess the threat.

The bomb squad sealed off the parking lot and kept the customers inside the store until they checked it out.

In the end, officers determined the box was empty.

Topics: george garrett, suspicious packages, weslaco, explosion, brownsville

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