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DeWitt man brings found vintage bomb to Victoria sheriff's office

By ALLISON MILES
March 12, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
Updated March 12, 2013 at 10:13 p.m.

A vintage mortar sits inside a vehicle Tuesday outside the Victoria County Sheriff's Office. A DeWitt County man, whose son found the explosive device during a fishing trip several weeks ago, delivered it to authorities to dispose of.

Lt. Gary Lytle, with the Victoria County Sheriff Office's patrol division, encouraged anyone who encounters a potentially dangerous object, such as the mortar transported to the office Tuesday, to leave the object alone and immediately contact the local authorities.

The sheriff's office's non-emergency number is 361-575-0651.

The Victoria County Sheriff's Office learned Tuesday that not every special delivery is a welcome sight.

A DeWitt County man arrived at the office about 8:30 a.m. with a vintage 60 mm mortar round - a find his son made about four weeks ago when the device became entangled in his fishing net, said Lt. Gary Lytle, with the Victoria County Sheriff Office's patrol division. The man made the drive from Cuero - with the mortar in his vehicle - Lytle said, because he felt Victoria officials had better resources to handle the situation.

Authorities barricaded off a one-block area around the parking lot and alerted nearby businesses as a safety precaution, Lytle said. All signs indicated the corroded explosive device was still "hot," he explained, and he guessed it had the power to cause damage up to 100 yards away.

"They're not designed to blow up trees or anything else," he said. "They're designed to kill people."

The fact that the bomb was inside a vehicle, he said, meant glass, hardware and other debris could cause further damage.

Representatives with the United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived at the scene and transported the device to a safe location at the sheriff office's shooting range, Lytle said. The Corpus Christi bomb squad will now take over, likely detonating the device and disposing of it.

Lytle said such arrivals are uncommon at the sheriff's office, and he encouraged anyone who comes across a potentially dangerous device to keep their distance.

"Move it to the side and leave it alone. Call your local authorities," he said. "Do not transport it, do not take it home, do not put it in your bedroom, you know, do not drive it around, showing people."

No citations were issued in relation to the incident.

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