Packages force closure of Harper Ct.

Yellow crime scene tape clashes with the Christmas decorations at the entrance to Harper Court from 53rd Street while police stand guard outside the Harper Court Office Building. (Herald staff photo)

Herald staff report

The flashing red and blue lights on 53rd Street Tuesday had nothing to do with the coming holiday season.

The Harper Court Office Building, 5235 S. Harper Ct., was cordoned off by the Chicago Police and Fire Departments after two suspicious packages were delivered to the building.

According to a source close to the Obama Foundation, the packages arrived about 12:30 p.m. Police and Fire personnel were notified, and they responded quickly. Police would not confirm that the packages were addressed to the Foundation.

The University of Chicago, which owns the building, issued the following statement:

“Employees at Harper Court were asked to stay in place and some non-University offices were evacuated early this afternoon after an office identified suspicious incoming mail packages. Police responded and building occupants received an all-clear message shortly before 2 p.m. We are thankful for the swift response by law enforcement officers in ensuring the safety and security of everyone in the building. The Chicago Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident.”

hpherald@hpherald.com