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Police investigate suspicious substance found in backpack

Released on Friday, May 7, 2021
Contact Information
  • Public Information Officer, Fort Collins Police Services, 970-818-8950,, Website:
  • Northern Colorado Bomb Squad truck and robot

On May 6, 2021 at approximately 10 a.m., Fort Collins Police Services received a report of a suspicious backpack in the 4800 block of Boardwalk Drive. Staff at a commercial storage facility were removing abandoned items from a unit no longer being rented. During this process, they found a backpack containing multiple packages of a powdery chemical substance and reported it to law enforcement.

Fort Collins Police, Poudre Fire Authority, and the Northern Colorado Bomb Squad responded. Out of precaution, the area immediately surrounding the scene was evacuated for approximately 2.5 hours. The commercially-packaged substance was ultimately identified as pre-mixed ANFO, or ammonium nitrate/fuel oil, an industrial explosive frequently used in mining operations.

Fort Collins Police Services notified public safety partners at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). First responders remained on scene for approximately 8.5 hours to investigate, and at this time, detectives do not have indications of any intentional threat associated with this incident.

“I want to commend the staff members who called to report this. Thanks to their actions, this hazardous material was safely assessed and removed,” said Assistant Chief Tim Doran, who leads the Criminal Investigations Unit. “I’m also extremely grateful for our local and federal partners. Yesterday’s unified response is a true testament to the collaborative public safety environment here in Northern Colorado.”

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information, who has not already spoken to police, is asked to contact Detective Bryan Vogel at 970-416-2392. People who wish to remain anonymous may also contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or