Materials found in condo turn out to be not explosive


Deputies with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office bomb team return to a staging area with items retrieved from the inside of apartment No. 411 at Oxford Terrace II, 921 SW Depot Ave., on Friday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 26, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.

Suspicious materials found Friday morning in a vacant top-floor condo at Oxford Terrace II near downtown Gainesville turned out to be non-explosive, Gainesville Police Department spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said.

Tobias said a replica hand grenade was also found.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office bomb team members went into the condominium, located at 921 SW Depot Ave., with large yellow containers.

“They’re taking the big material,” Tobias said, “and we’re taking the little stuff.” The origin of the material was unknown.

Southwest Depot Avenue was closed for a time between Southwest Sixth Street and Southwest 11th Street. The east side of the condominium complex was evacuated for about four hours.

“Maintenance personnel reported seeing what appeared to be a hand grenade and other materials in a vacant apartment,” Tobias said. “This particular unit appears to be in between the previous owner and the bank’s control.”

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art Forgey said the agency’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit “found a lot of suspicious stuff in the apartment” that led the bomb team to be concerned.

Bomb squad members brought out five clear tubes with blue tops. Shortly after noon, they were testing the chemical in the vials on a table outside the condos near their truck.

Condo resident Alex Lucke, 20, a University of Florida student, said he was leaving in the morning when he saw three police cars and police officers staring at something in the front of the building.

“They said if they thought it was super-serious they would evacuate the whole building,” Lucke said. “They said they had it under control.”

“GPD completely understands and respects that residents were inconvenienced today,” Tobias said. “However, we would much rather take the time to properly test and analyze any materials that have the possibility of being explosive materials.

“Luckily, these materials were inert, and everyone gets to go home today,” Tobias said.

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