Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies are warning people to be wary of old military souvenirs tucked away in storage. On Thursday, January 4, 2018, a Gold Hill woman reported finding a World War II-style mortar shell in a shed on her property in the 400-block of Chavner Street. It had been stored there as long as she'd been in the residence -- more than 30 years. She took the mortar out to her yard and set it on the ground before calling dispatch.
Deputies responded and requested assistance from the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit. A military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit was then sent from the Portland area to collect the device. In the meantime, deputies notified neighbors and blocked off the area. The EOD team took the mortar to a safe location for detonation. Nobody was injured during the incident.
Deputies say these cases happen from time to time; usually the item turns out to be an inert shell kept as a souvenir. In this case, it turned out to be a live device and the homeowner was unaware of the potential danger.
If you find a suspicious device on your property - military-type or otherwise - please do not handle it or move it to another location. Leave the item in place and call authorities so an expert can examine it safely.