Hopewell homes evacuated after “prank” explosives discovered

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) – Hopewell and Virginia State Police are investigating after a hoax explosive device was discovered in a senior living neighborhood Wednesday.

Officers were called to Cobblestone Drive just after 9:30 a.m. after a woman walking her dog found suspicious devices on the front lawn of a vacant home. Responding officers found three red devices, one with what appeared to be a timing device, marked with “high explosives” in writing.

Hopewell authorities called Virginia State Police for assistance. They eventually deemed the devices to be a prank.

“A subject did come up to us and told us that his father had these devices for a number of years and they had started cleaning out the residence,” says Capt. Michael Whittington of Hopewell Police. “They may have fallen out of a trash bag and they thought they were disposed.”

At least eight homes had to be evacuated during the investigation. Irene Cobb lives in the neighborhood and came home after police had arrived.

“We had actually gone grocery shopping this morning because we had church service this morning for ash Wednesday,” says Cobb. “We left at 8:30 and everything was fine. Came home about a quarter past 10 and they wouldn’t let us go home.”

Police destroyed the devices on scene.

No injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation.

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