A bomb in a Lakeville newspaper box?
By Tom Vonhof, Lakeville Chief of Police
You never know what kind of calls you will get on any particular dayshift as a police officer, and last Saturday was no exception to that rule.
Officer Shawn McMahon and Sergeant Jason Polinski were working on the dayshift when they responded to a report of a suspicious item in a newspaper box in a residential neighborhood. When the officers arrived they observed a silver cylinder in one of the newspaper boxes located under the mailbox. The homeowner had no idea who had put it there or what it was.
After looking at the item from a distance, as a precautionary measure the officers contacted Bloomington Police Department Bomb Squad officers and described the situation to them. The Bloomington Bomb Squad officers elected to respond to the scene to check out the cylinder. When they arrived, the Bomb Squad officers deployed a remotely controlled mobile robot to retrieve the cylinder from the paper box while they operated the robot from a safe distance away.
The robot examined and safely removed the item from the newspaper box. The Bomb Squad officers investigated and determined that the cylinder posed no danger and was not explosive, but actually a small nonflammable carbon dioxide tank. The officers on the call appreciated the assistance of the Bloomington Bomb Squad Unit officers and were pleased that the suspicious item turned out to be non-ordnance. The officers at the scene were not able to determine who or why someone might have placed the small cylinder in the newspaper box.