Local/State

Lawnside device a hoax, officials say

Thursday, March 07, 2013

A threatening device was found inside an elevator at the Lawnside Borough Hall in Camden County Thursday morning, prompting the response of police and the bomb squad.

Federal law enforcement officials tell Action News that the device has been classified as a hoax.

No explosives were found in the device or package.

Authorities responded to the hall around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, located at 4 Douglas Avenue in Lawnside.

Police say the device was discovered by a court employee around 8:20 a.m.

The device consisted of a clear plastic ziploc bag with three metal pipes duct taped together and a timer on top. Attached to the device is a note addressed to Mayor Mary Ann Wardlow.

"It's certainly a difficult day for her, but she's a popular person in the community, she's a tough lady and she's doing fine," borough attorney Morris Smith said.

Experts used a special robot to render the item safe.

Police say investigation revealed the device did not contain explosives and was instead filled with screws.

Police say there have been no previous public threats made against the mayor, Mary Ann Wardlow.

"Can't say random, but right now it is a puzzling situation for us all," Lewis said.

Police are hoping that surveillance video from inside the building will shed light on who set the device.

Police say Wardlow left the building about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night and the device was not in the elevator at that time.

When it was placed there, and who was responsible, is under investigation.

Anyone with information should contact Camden County Prosecutor's Office Investigator Fred Lang at (609) 381-4940.

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