Military shell prompts evacuation at Centerville thrift store


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CENTERVILLE -- A military high-explosive plastic shell returned to a Centerville thrift store resulted in a visit by the bomb squad and an evacuation of the entire store.

The ordeal began when a customer at the Deseret Industries on 158 E. Pages Lane in Centerville had second thoughts about a military ordnance he nabbed for $100 last week.

Lt. Paul Child of the Centerville Police Department said, "He took it home, started looking at it, thought it maybe might be a live round and brought it back to Deseret Industries."

Centerville police were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Friday and discovered the 106 mm high-explosive plastic shell in a large tube, Child said.

"This is something that could do some major damage. It's designed to take out tanks," he said. "Upon our initial observation, it appeared to be intact and able to fire or explode."

Officers immediately began to create a safe zone around the ordnance. The South Davis Metro Fire Department was also called to the scene, after which it ordered an evacuation of the store and surrounding area.

A Davis County bomb technician arrived 15 minutes later and determined the shell was not able to explode. An examination revealed the word "inert" stamped on the side of the shell. The bomb technician confirmed that was true and gave the all clear.

"There was no danger to anyone at any time," Child said. "We took precautions, treated it as though it was a live round until it was determined to be otherwise."

The ordnance was loaded into the back of a law enforcement SUV and taken to the Davis County Sheriff's Office. Deputies will store it there for now.

Lt. Child said it was the right call to contact police. "From time to time people will find a grenade or World War II ordnance of some kind in their attic. Bomb techs are called out on a regular basis for that," he said.

Police determined the ordnance had been donated about a week before and was held on display in the "collectibles" department until the customer purchased it.

The Davis County Sheriff's Office says it does not appear that there were any violations of law.

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Story written with contributions from Pat Reavy and Sarah Dallof.

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