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Beware of what you carry into the City and County Building

DENVER -- After 9/11 happened, security and what's prohibited in airports and public buildings changed.

With the change, disposal bins appeared at Denver's City and County Building. "And they [people carrying the items] put them in there knowing that they're not going to get these items retrieved," said Jenna Espinoza who is with the city of Denver.

Those items that people won't get back are categorized as "unauthorized property."

They end up filling bins at the City and County Building.

"Even the simplest objects can be considered dangerous," Espinsoza said. Security personnel confiscate obvious things like pocket knives daily.

But less obvious prohibited metal objects get taken away as well.

  • Scissors
  • Table forks
  • Nail files
  • Corkscrews

All of those items could be used as weapons to stab someone.

A lot of the things seem really harmless. Things that women carry in their purse every day like hairspray or pepper spray. These things, though, can be turned into a flammable and used against someone.

Something  innocuous-looking like padlocks are another example of an item that can be turned into an instant weapon on your fist, or slung around inside of a sock.

"A lot of people are dealing with divorce court or they're fighting for custody for their children. A lot of people come in here very emotional and our main goal is to keep the public and our personnel safe," Espinoza said.

And yet hundreds who pass through the doors at the City and County Building -- people who "know the drill" -- still try to bring the stuff inside.

"We get a lot of questions, 'can you just hold this for me until I go to court and come back and retrieve this item?' The answer to that is no," Espinoza said. "They're asked to either take that item and place it in their car or off city property."