Suspicious Persons/Items

The horrific global terrorist attacks remind us of the need to be always alert to our surroundings and the need to immediately report anything unusual. A timely report to authorities might just be the thing that thwarts an attack.

Public transit continues to be a frequent target of terrorists. As such, riders and customers of public transportation such as SEPTA busses and regional rail have a duty to act and report when they see unusual behaviors or unattended bags. If you are riding public transit or are at public venue and a person leaves a package or bag behind, politely ask them, "Is that your bag?" While it may be a simple omission it is precisely the means by which attackers frequently target areas where people commonly carry bags, backpacks or briefcases.

The SEPTA Police Department offers the following additional information:

It is Important that if You See Something, Say Something:

A steady vigilance keeps the SEPTA system safe. The Transit Police are constantly monitoring to prevent, deter, detect and respond to any suspicious acts that may prevent SEPTA from moving the region. However, our customers play a vital role in helping identify suspicion. Become familiar with the characteristics and keep alert to any objects or people which could potentially cause more harm than good.

A Suspicious Person is Someone Who is:

  • In an unauthorized area In the wrong place or appears lost
  • Loitering and/or watching customers or employees
  • Acting in a disorderly manner that alarms or disturbs others
  • On SEPTA property without proper identification
  • Expressing an unusual level of interest in operations, equipment, personnel or facilities

Suspicious Items

  • Unattended boxes, packages, or cases
  • Tanks or bottles of chemicals
  • Notes or messages attached to suspicious packages
  • Unidentified mist, gas, vapor or odor
  • Liquids appearing to be leaking or seeping from suspicious items
  • Visibly dangerous weapons


  • Call or Text 911 immediately
  • Take note of the location of the unattended package
  • Be able to provide a description of any potential persons involved
  • Avoid approaching persons who appear outwardly dangerous or threatening
  • Refrain from using any cellular or radio device within 50 feet of a suspicious item

Together we can work together to help keep SEPTA safe for everyone.

Suspicious packages in the mail:

If you suspect that a package you received might be a bomb or otherwise dangerous, do not use a radio or a cell phone to summon the authorities. Calmly evacuate the area and do not block exits or sidewalks. Call 911 from another location.

Indicators of dangerous packages:

  • Is it an unusual size, shape or weight?
  • Are there any unusual odors, stains, crystals, powders or liquid emanating from it?
  • Does the postmark match the return address?
  • Is the address handwritten, block printed or poorly typed?
  • Is it closed with excessive amounts of string or tape?
  • Is it marked personal or confidential to a specific recipient?
  • Are there numerous misspellings?
  • Does the recipient have just a title but no first name?

The bottom line is if a package arrives and you are uncomfortable with opening it, contact the local police immediately.