Breaking news: Grenade found in car in Southborough

Did you notice the news helicopters hovering over Southborough today? Here’s why.

Portions of Central Street at the Route 9 end were closed this morning when police discovered a WWII hand grenade in a car. A police officer on the scene told me they stopped the car due to a traffic violation. Marijuana was found in the vehicle so they instituted a search. That’s when they discovered the grenade.

The officer said there as no powder in the grenade, but the firing mechanism was in tact, so police cordoned off the area to deal with it.

That’s all the information I have right now, but I’ll update this post as more becomes available.

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Matt C.
12 years ago

Would you have any more information on the grenade in car situation this morning?


C. NIcholas Ellis
12 years ago


That is what’s known as a “dummy”. To the best of my recollection, they are perfectly legal in Massachusetts. The “firing mechanism”, as such, is not really intact. The pull ring and pin are indeed left in the grenade, to give the appearance of it being a live grenade, however no chemicals (gunpowder, “firing”-triggering chemicals, etc.) are left in the device. As you stated, the bottom is drilled out, and left open (I’ve never seen one with a plug, anyway), so that there can be no question of whether or not it is a live grenade.

That said, I applaud our police department for doing their due diligence, for recognizing a potentially serious threat and acting accordingly, and for (hopefully!) not over-sensationalizing a situation without the full facts (as the media has a tendency to to).

Without some serious work, this “dummy” grenade is no more harmful than a good-sized rock. It’s a “gag” item (admittedly one that many people in this town may find off-putting, if not outright offensive – can’t say I’m one of them, but then, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to be driving around with one in my car; moreover, I don’t own one, and consider it foolish to have one in one’s possession outside of the privacy of their own home – just because it’s legal does not mean it’s smart), and would take some considerable work to make into an actual bomb. “Dummy” rounds of ammunition (not “bullets”; they’re called “catridges”) are found in much the same way – the primer is removed, as is any gunpowder (actually, it’s more likely that a bullet is seated in the neck of the brass without ever including gunpowder OR primers, the safest and best way to craft such an item). Again, they are completely harmless in their own right – they physically cannot “go off”, accidentally or otherwise. However, appearances can sometimes be more harmful than the actual item in question – I think we all can agree on that.

Didn’t mean to go off on a long-winded post there. Simply wanted to throw a little education out there for any who might be curious. Education is the strongest defense against all perils – ignorance is the biggest weakness. After all, you wouldn’t go rock-climbing, or driving, or swimming, without knowing how, right?

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