NEW YORK — Reports of suspicious packages have increased about 400 percent in the days since last weekend’s bombing in Chelsea, according to data provided by the NYPD on Thursday.
Twenty nine people were injured when an explosion occurred in Manhattan’s bustling Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night. All were released from the hospital by the following day.
Earlier Saturday, an explosion occurred in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and police located additional explosives in NYC and Elizabeth in the following 24 hours.
Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after a shootout with police in New Jersey Monday morning, and is being charged in connection to all the incidents.
That hasn’t slowed frightened New Yorkers from reporting concerning sights, however.
From Saturday night through Wednesday at 4 p.m., 818 suspicious package reports have been made to the NYPD, police said Thursday.
While the NYPD did not respond to PIX11’s inquiry as to how many reports are typically made, the New York Times says the department normally responds to about 42 calls a day.
That’s a four-fold increase, or about 400 percent the daily average, since the Chelsea bombing.
New Jersey State Police were unsure of how many reports the department has received, and said any numbers given would be “flawed” since reports are made to individual departments.
A spike in suspicious package reports is common following incidents such as what occurred this past weekend, police spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves told the Times.
Most suspicious package reports are “cleared” relatively quickly, but can disrupt people’s daily lives.
A pressure cooker left on the roadway caused a closure of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx during Wednesday evening’s rush-hour commute.
The closure lasted about two hours.
A suspicious pair of unattended shoes left on top of a wire in Ridgewood, New Jersey disrupted train service Thursday morning.
And a suspicious package report caused a Rutgers University parking area to be closed for some two hours on Tuesday.
Despite the most common result of suspicious package reports seemingly being the clearing of trash — such as suspicious shoes and miscellaneous pressure cookers — police say this level of heightened awareness is good.
“That’s what we need to do … is make sure that we investigate everything,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a news conference Wednesday, according to the Times.
And thus the “see something, say something” slogan created after the Twin Tower attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, is continually used, and has led civilians such as New Yorker Jane Schreibman to report what turned out to be a bomb in Chelsea following Saturday’s attack.
That second device was located by police thanks to her help, and was rendered safe.