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Threatening letters containing white powder sent to 13 home improvement stores in Twin Cities

WOODBURY, Minn. - The Home Depot here was one of 13 stores to receive threatening letters containing a nontoxic white powder substance in recent days, according to the FBI.

The agency is investigating the mailings, which occurred between Dec. 31 and last Thursday, Ralph Boelter, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis FBI office, said in a news release.

Other Home Depot stores that received the letters included the ones Hastings, Maplewood and Inver Grove Heights and in Hudson, Wis. Other threatening letters were reportedly received at Renewal by Andersen businesses in Cottage Grove, Bayport, Roseville, Edina and Burnsville.

The news release states the FBI has the threatening letters and the envelopes. The return address on each envelope is identical and the businesses all seemed to receive the same photocopied letter.

The white powder in most of the letters has been identified by the state of Minnesota Department of Health Lab in St. Paul as sodium bicarbonate and is not toxic or otherwise dangerous.

However, the substance in the last letter received has not yet been analyzed, and that analysis will likely not be completed before early next week.

The Woodbury (Minn.) Bulletin is owned by Forum Communications Co.