The grenade that was found xxx. Photo: BPD
The World War II-era hand grenade that was found Tuesday in the 1200 block of Spruce Street (at Eunice). Photo: Courtesy BPD

On Tuesday, a World War II-era hand grenade was unearthed in the planter box of a home in the 1200 block of Spruce Street.

At 4 p.m., Berkeley Police dispatch received a report of a possible explosive device, according to a Nixle alert put out by BPD Wednesday morning. The department’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal team responded and recovered a World War II-era, French military, training hand grenade. The grenade had been dug up when some work was being done on the property, BPD said. The device was safely disposed of by the EOD Team.

The grenade was wrapped in plastic which protected it from the elements, according to Sergeant Andrew Frankel, a spokesman for BPD. This helped authorities identify it: “There were visible stamps made on the metal which can be traced back to where it originated from,” he said.

According to BPD, discoveries like this one are not uncommon. “We average a few of these a year — not always a grenade but some form of ordinance that may have come home from war,” said Sgt Frankel. “These items were kept as souvenirs by someone’s family member and often forgotten until that family member has passed.”

And, despite this device’s age, it was still capable of causing injury if not properly handled, BPD said.

In August last year the North Berkeley BART station was closed briefly after someone reported seeing what appeared to be a live grenade in the station’s satellite parking lot. The UCPD bomb squad determined it was a toy grenade.

The police advise community members that if they discover something that might be hazardous, they leave the object in place and contact the Berkeley Police Department.

This story was updated with new information from the Berkeley Police after publication.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...