WATCH: Search for a North Carolina grenade
ATF is trying to find the person who bought a World War II era grenade from an North Carolina antique store this summer because the grenade might still be live.
SHALLOTTE, N.C. — Visit just about any antique shop or thrift store and military items are a dime-a-dozen, but one summer shopper left the fancy flea antique mall in shallotte with a whole lot more than they bargained for.
The ATF believes someone unknowingly bought a potentially live grenade.
“For devices like this, again, you have a lot of collectors, veterans, people that are just interested, history buffs.” said ATF Public Information officer Corey Ray “They’ll buy these as a prop or novelty item, and that’s perfectly fine. There’s nothing against that. However, for a live grenade, that’s considered a destructive device by ATF, and that is illegal to possess.”
It’s a story that’s getting a lot of attention across the Carolinas and one that hits close to home for Lynn Holler and her husband who shop at the store.
“I guess my main, my main thing is that i just hope it doesn’t accidentally go off.” said Holler, “And so this morning, I asked my husband, ‘Did you see that story last night about the antique mall that we were just at yesterday,’ and he goes, ‘What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Supposedly they think there was a grenade that they now think may be active, and so they’re looking for people,’ and I just thought it was sort of odd because we had just been there yesterday.”
The ATF believes the seller didn’t know the grenade could be live, but it leaves the question, where is the grenade?
Officials only know that it was bought on June 13, but the store doesn’t have cameras, and the rare antique was bought with cash. Now investigators hope to make their own special discovery, and keep everyone safe in the process.
“With so many tourists in the middle of summer, we knew this is very challenging to try to locate this, but we’re hoping through these different channels,” continued Corey Ray, “Through word-of-mouth, through broadcast and social media, that someone might see something.”
ATF said they found out about this particular purchase of the grenade as they worked another similar case recently.