2009-01-02 / Top Stories

'Suspicious Packages' Close Subway Line

By Howard Schwach

For the second time in December, the A Line was shut down for about 20 minutes as police investigated a call for "suspicious packages."

Police sources say that an elderly man came to the token booth clerk at the Beach 105 Street subway station at about 4:27 p.m. on December 26 to report an unattended red suitcase on the top of a staircase on the southbound subway platform and a black duffel bag on the north end of the platform.

A unit from Transit District 23 responded to the clerk's call, and found the two bags.

The responding TD 23 officers called for the Emergency Service Unit (ESU) to check out the packages to see if they contained an explosive device.

The station was closed and evacuated, and dispatchers were ordered to notify trains to bypass the station. Because the packages were deemed "suspicious," the bomb squad was called in.

Train service was suspended while the bomb squad detectives checked the packages.

They soon discovered that the packages contained personal property, clothing and other personal necessities.

After being suspended at 6:35 p.m., the service was fully restored at 6:47 p.m.

Convinced that the two packages were owned by a homeless person, officers from the Homeless Outreach Unit searched the area and found one homeless man in the supermarket parking lot. He told them, however, that the packages were not his. The unidentified man was transported to a men's shelter in Brooklyn.

After some investigation, police say, the packages were traced to Rockaway resident Kimberly Sanchez, who lives in the Surfside Houses across the street from the station.

However, police could not say why she left her belongings behind.

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