Suspicious letter prompts lockdown at LA Times

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October 25, 2006 13:42

 
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A letter containing a white powder prompted the temporary lockdown of the Los Angeles Times' downtown headquarters, before authorities determined the substance was harmless. A newsroom employee on the third floor discovered the letter, addressed to the editor, shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and alerted authorities, said Mike La Perruque, head of security at the Times. The building was not evacuated, although an estimated 150 to 200 employees were prevented from leaving due to concerns of possible contamination, La Perruque said. He described the letter as "rambling, half-typed, half-written," and said police were investigating who sent it. The substance was determined to be a common additive or preservative, said Officer Mike Lopez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. The building was cleared shortly before 10 p.m., and employees were allowed to leave.

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