Downtown street shut as police investigate unattended backpack

Suspicious backpack

Otis Street near Winthrop Square is shut as the BPD bomb squad investigates a backpack just sitting there.

Angie took photos of the backpack sitting there and as a bomb-squad member investigated it.

Bomb squad member investigates backpack

At1:27 p.m., Dan Dunn reported:

Officer took off body armor. Picked up bag and walked away. Street opening. All done I guess.



    Free tagging: 


    The sequel

    > Officer took off body armor. Picked up bag and walked away.
    > Street opening. All done I guess.

    Officer mutters to himself -- "So _that's_ where I left it".

    Act III

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    "Wait," the cops realized, "anytime a backpack gets left lying around somewhere, a bunch of us get Overtime?"

    Act IV - crashes as the entire BPD logs in at once

    Act V

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    UPS driver leaves officers overstock purchase at wrong house ... Start the process all over again

    Quick Reporting Great!

    You folks are right on the ball! I was reading the tweets...looking at photos, and you had the story posted within minutes! Great job!


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    I'm just glad we didn't have to "disrupt" someone's stolen/misplaced lunch and paperwork all over the street (and then pay DPW overtime to sweep it all up).

    Also, if this bag was stolen, rummaged through, and then ditched on the street, can we start busting pocketbook thieves as hoax device terrorists?

    pre-marathon bombings....

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    For Cambridge police, pre-bombings, reports of 'unattended packages/bags' were pretty much a daily occurrence, as they are now. There was an uptick in reports of unattended bags immediately following the bombings but then the reports sank back to relatively normal numbers as people return to their usual distracted selves. These small incidences were never reported on, were just a blip on the scanner; or if it happened during your commute, you'd notice a police concentration briefly down a street if you glanced or tried to walk that way, but would be quickly cleared up. The only difference now is, it's reported on here and there with more far more frequency. Fear factor, I suppose......

    B.S until it happens here

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    Those of you who think this is all B.S.

    April 25,2014, live pipe bomb found in Worcester.
    April 28 2014, live pipe bomb found in Marshfield.


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    You need an example of someone leaving a bag somewhere in Boston and it exploding?

    The bomb squad did what they needed to do. The person who reported it did what then needed to do. Sure, there have been instances of overkill in Boston since 9/11, but sometimes reporting something suspicious and the police acting is a good thing.


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    9/11 involved hijacked airplanes. What in the world does that have to do with a bag left by a buuilding downtown?

    Enhanced security

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    It would have been too obvious to point out the period in Boston history where bags left unattended actually did something. The point is that the idea of "see something, say something" that's been around for the past 12 years is a pretty good one.

    I'm not going to go the civil libertarian route. This particular case today has nothing to do with that. This was simply someone noticing an unattended bag, notifying the police, and the bomb squad making sure it wasn't anything bad.

    Well, two can play this game.

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    Well, two can play this game.

    The two deadliest terrorist attacks on US soil prior to 9/11/01 involved bombs in vehicles (Oklahoma City and the WTC). (And the 1920 terrorist bombing on Wall Street that killed over 30 was hidden in a horse-drawn cart.) I wonder if all these people who get terrified about abandoned backpacks also get terrified about abandoned parked vehicles on the side of the street.

    I mean, isn't it incredibly dangerous for the police to allow this practice of abandoning vehicles roadside to continue in this post-9/11 age?


    No, I don't need an example of bombs in Boston, I need the two specific links to the pipe-bomb incidents that didn't somehow make it through whatever magic formats these pages.

    Jeez, unclench your panties, already.

    Links for the lazy

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    The poster did not likely intend to give you links, they were just listing recent incidents. If you Google for about 5 seconds you can find the original news items in question. But surprised you had not heard about them when they occurred as the reporting on them was fairly widespread across the local news stations and papers.

    Get out of your media-hyped false flag box

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    The reason I think this is BS is because I KNOW it's BS. Winthrop Sq is where Boston's bike messengers hang out. They all wear bags-- just the one in the photos. They sit right there in the sun, and walk across the street to get coffee at the packed Starbucks, or talk to friends, keeping an eye on their stuff from a distance [they'd be able to race someone down who tries to rip it, and give them a proper beat-down with their bike lock anyway]. Wearing the heavy bag all the time sucks, but it sucks worse when some knee-jerk idiot on lunch who lives in a box of media-hype w/o a clue as to what happens in the area where come into town to work uses their ever-present smart phone to wreck the day and get all the gear you've had to pay for yourself blown up.

    Not an "unattended" bag

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    This was not an "unattended bag" ... it was removed from an individual who was suddenly and swiftly apprehended by Boston SWAT police.

    Very glad

    To not be staring out at this from my office window, as I am on the road.

    Not that standing behind a plate of glass watching to see if the bomb squad will blow something up is such a great idea ... just a theoretical possibility. My boss and I did notice the Lincoln Properties e-mail about staying interior, though.

    This isn't the area where the bike couriers hang, by the way, and I have seen "abandoned" bags in Winthrop Square park, asked "does this belong to anyone" and had several people say "yes - it is so and so's and we are watching it".