Devices likely intended to stop the removal of campaign signs drew bomb squad technicians to the Easton area five times in 36 hours, the state fire marshal’s office reported.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad responded to reports of suspicious devices attached to political campaign signs.
Easton Police officers responded to the first call about 9 a.m. Oct. 4 for a report of a suspicious device on the rear of a campaign sign at Idlewild Park in the 100 block of Idlewild Road. After observing the device, officers requested the bomb squad’s assistance.
Bomb technicians responded, determined the device was innocuous and removed it. Since that time, bomb technicians have responded to four more similar devices in and around Easton, and all were determined to be of similar construction.
The devices are described as a small audible alarm attached to the rear of the sign with a removable pull pin. Once the pull pin is removed, an attached string line is pulled away, sounding the alarm. It appears that the purpose of the devices was to thwart the theft or removal of the sign.
At no time were the devices a threat to the public.
All the signs were located in public areas, which by Maryland law are not allowed. Campaign signs do not require a permit but are prohibited from being placed on public rights-of-way, road shoulders, or medians.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal asks citizens if they should see a similar type of device located on a campaign sign, to contact their local police agency for further instructions.
Citizens should never take upon themselves to remove suspicious devices and reminded the public to practice the three R’s when a suspicious device is located. Recognize that any suspicious objects found should not be touched under any circumstances. Retreat or carefully leave the area, and report immediately what was found and the approximate location to a 911 dispatcher.