BANGOR, Maine — A Vietnam War-era grenade, apparently kept as a souvenir, was found Monday night inside a moving box by relatives of a veteran, police said Tuesday.
The weapon later was destroyed.
The Bangor Police Department was called to a Baldwin Drive residence at 6:25 p.m. Monday and Officers Jim Hassard and Kevin Murphy determined the weapon was a live grenade.
The homeowner’s husband was a “Vietnam veteran and brought one home,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday morning.
In a statement issued early Tuesday, the sergeant reported that “the department’s Bomb Squad was notified and removed the grenade to a safe location where it was destroyed” on Monday night.
People who find weapons of any sort should call police immediately because old ammunition can detonate without warning, Edwards said.
“Time does not deteriorate the explosive charge inside munitions, but it does have its effects on the outer casings and the safety mechanisms put in place by the manufacturer,” he said in the statement. “The safety on a military grenade, for example, is under constant pressure by the striker. As years go by and the metal oxidizes or weakens due to the constant pressure, at some point it will fail” and could explode.
“It is important to remember that no device, ammunition … or anything resembling an explosive [should] ever be touched or handled,” he added. “Call your local authorities if you find anything like that.”