Shell discovery creates Topsham alarm

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TOPSHAM — A condominium neighborhood off Monroe Lane was on lock down for several hours the night of Jan. 25 while authorities dealt with a recovered military training device that looked like a bazooka shell.

A person walking in the area that afternoon found the nearly 2-foot-long shell, and the state fire marshal’s office, Maine State Police and the Topsham Police Department responded to the call. Residents of more than 12 condos were asked not to leave their homes.

The state bomb team took the object about a half mile away for examination at Crooker’s Construction, where it was discovered that the shell never housed any explosives. The team’s remote-controlled robot removed the device.

“Fire marshals suspect the device may have been left there by someone who did not know what to do with it,” Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a press release. “Investigators say when in doubt, call police, so it can be examined and quietly properly disposed of, without disturbing to an entire neighborhood.”