SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It was a typical morning at the Salvation Army store in suburban West Palm Beach Tuesday as workers prepared to open for the day. But before the doors were unlocked a worker found an unusual donation.
In boxes full of clothes, in the back donation room, the assistant store manager said she found a hand grenade with the pin still attached inside one of the donation boxes.
"We have a lot of donations that come in so it's one of those typical days that we go through all of our donations,” Store manager Sherlie Claude said. “That's how we ended up finding a grenade."
According to the worker who found the item a grenade turned up once before, but the last time it was a toy.
This time they knew it was no joke because of how heavy the grenade was.
"The assistant manager found it so she pretty much had it in her hand,” Claude said. “We all were like ‘Oh my God, we have a grenade’ so everybody was like ‘Ok let's call the Sheriff’s (office).' "
Claude said the back area where the clothes are is full of hundreds of clothes that they go through every day, but they never anticipate anything to be in those bags and boxes other than clothes.
"My first reaction is that it came in through somebody's clothing,” Salvation Army Area Commander Maj. Thomas McWilliams said. “You know grandpa's clothing had a souvenir that he wanted to give away and they were just pulling out clothes and there was a hand grenade."
Luckily investigators got the Army weapon safely into a containment unit, but store manager Claude says this should be a lesson.
"Make sure (you) know what (you’re) donating,” Claude said. “We can’t accept everything; we do appreciate all donations, but grenades? We can’t accept grenades."
It's not known if this grenade was active, but it was real and served as a real big scare Tuesday morning.
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