A team of emergency responders, including members of the state police bomb squad, were called in after a grenade was found in a storage unit at the Sun Island Storage in Vineyard Haven on Feb. 5. Despite some tense moments, authorities eventually determined the grenade was not a threat and likely a novelty item or paper weight.
Tisbury police chief John Cashin said an employee of Sun Island Storage first found the grenade around 9 a.m. while cleaning out a storage unit at the State Road facility and preparing the items for auction. Sun Island Storage manager Sally Sylvia then alerted police, the chief said, and the device was placed under a semi-trailer in the parking lot.
Members of the Tisbury police department, fire department and the Massachusetts state police responded to the scene, and a perimeter was established to keep the public away from the device. Police then reviewed the storage facility’s records and were able to identify the person who had previously rented the storage unit.
“We learned the grenade was not a live explosive . . . that the owner had purchased the item a long time ago as sort of a gag,” Chief Cashin said. “The reason for the response was that the item did, in fact, look like a real grenade.”
The chief said the device may have once been a live grenade, but the bottom had been hollowed out and the explosive material removed. As a precaution, a team from the state police fire and explosion investigation section was called to the scene. Investigators then x-rayed the item and found there was no threat.