Explosives in odd places: Where do they come from?

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bomb techs will soon be blowing up an antique explosive found in the Grand River in Grand Rapids by a magnet fisherman.

“My heart was pounding. At first I dropped it and walked away from my magnet,” Joseph Alexander said of finding the device Tuesday.

The Grand Rapids Police Department determined it was a possibly live German mortar from World War I.

Another explosive was found in the river a few months back. And earlier this year, explosives that looked like “pipe bombs” were found at a Grand Rapids home that was under construction.

Where are they coming from?

“Often times servicemen and women, veterans will come back in country and bring these back as souvenirs. They are not theoretically supposed to,” GRPD Sgt. John Wittkowski said.

GRPD said that after the veterans pass away, family members find the explosives tucked away in boxes and basements. The weapons of war are illegal to have. GRPD thinks people get scared and think submerging them in water is the best move.

Instead, police say, you should call 911 so the device can be safely disposed of.

Explosives aren’t found often. GRPD says it gets only about 10 calls a year, but they can draw a lot of attention.

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