EFFINGHAM — Entrances to Fifth Third Bank at 200 East Jefferson Avenue were secured by police Thursday afternoon after a suspicious package was left at the bank, according to authorities. A woman who allegedly left the package is in custody, but her identity has not yet been released.

Effingham Police Chief Jason McFarland said she was on foot and was detained a few blocks from the bank within minutes of the call.

Around 3:20 p.m., a woman entered the bank and threw a package at employees, McFarland said. Because it wasn’t known what was inside the package, the bomb squad was called in as a precaution.

Effingham City Police officers were on the scene to investigate the suspicious package, the police chief said.

McFarland described the package as an envelope with bubble wrap on the inside, similar to a mailing package for a DVD.

McFarland said the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad was called in as a precaution to check out the package. An Effingham K-9 unit was also on scene. The dog is trained to detect explosives.

McFarland said the second in command of the Secretary of State Police happened to be in Effingham when the call came in. McFarland said a good working relationship between his department and the bomb squad allowed the call to go into the bomb squad quickly.

It was later found the package contained paper and personal items, McFarland said.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at kaitlin.cordes@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151 ext. 132.

Reporter

Kaitlin Cordes covers Effingham County, police and courts and sports features for the Effingham Daily News. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University. Cordes is a native of Effingham.

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