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'Suspicious device' brought to Olmsted County Government Center

A woman dropped off a "suspicious device" at the Government Center at roughly 8 p.m. where she was then directed by authorities to leave it in the parking lot. Authorities then secured the Government Center until a bomb-sniffing dog came to the scene.

Suspicious Package
Olmsted County Deputy Corry Retzer rewards Explosive K9 Mikey after checking the area as Rochester Police and Fire respond to a suspicious package was brought to the Olmsted County Government Center on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Rochester.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — A suspicious device was brought to and later removed from the Olmsted County Government Center on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

According to Rochester Police Sgt. Steve Thompson, a woman dropped off a "suspicious device" at the Government Center at roughly 8 p.m. where she was then directed by authorities to leave it in the parking lot. Authorities then secured the Government Center until a bomb-sniffing dog came to the scene.

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The dog was not alerted by the device — which was described as being wrapped in black electrical tape and stuffed into a shoe — and authorities moved it to a secure location where a St. Paul bomb squad will come and take possession of the device.

The woman was given the device by a man who found it on a bike path in southwest Rochester roughly three hours prior to it being brought to the Government Center. Thompson said the woman believed "she was performing a public service" by bringing it to the Government Center.

The woman and man were both detained by police but released soon after.

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"The device does not appear to be a real explosive device," Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen said.

"The best thing she or he could've done was leave it alone on the bike path and call authorities and we would've gone to it at that point," Thompson said. "Bringing it to a populated area is the exact wrong thing to do."

The Rochester Police Department, Rochester Fire Department and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office responded to the incident.

Erich is a digital content producer at the Post Bulletin where he creates content for the Post Bulletin's digital platforms. Before he moved to Rochester, Erich worked as a sports reporter for Rivals.com covering the University of Illinois' athletic programs in Champaign, Illinois. Readers can reach Erich at 507-285-7681 or efisher@postbulletin.com.
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