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Lights of police car in night time. Night patrolling the city, crime scene. City lights at night background. Abstract blurry image.
Lights of police car in night time. Night patrolling the city, crime scene. City lights at night background. Abstract blurry image.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SHIRLEY — Authorities dismantled an explosive device that was discovered by a vigilant Shirley police officer in the middle of Townsend Road early Friday morning.

Shirley Police reported in a social media post that the officer was on patrol shortly after 1 a.m. when he noticed a suspicious item, which turned out to be a black paint can, in the center of the roadway.

The officer, a 12-year veteran of the force, performed a visual inspection that revealed the can had a small hole in the top of it with a wick sticking out.

“Based on his training experience, the officer knew not to touch it and they blocked off the road,” said Shirley Police Chief Sam Santiago.

The State Police Bomb Squad and the Shirley Fire Department were called to the scene. The State Police deployed their explosive robot and with X-ray technology, were able to determine that there was a firework-type explosive device inside the can.

Police said the Bomb Squad was able to safely dismantle the device and render it safe. The device will be forensically analyzed in the search for further evidence.

Santiago said late Friday afternoon that his department, along with the State Police, are investigating the discovery to determine how the device ended up in the road. He added that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been in contact with the department.

On social media, police told the community, “if you see something, say something.”

“Please report any suspicious activity to the Shirley Police Department,” police said in the post. “We are asking for the public’s help to review your doorbell cameras and or home video systems from 10:30 p.m. to 1:03 a.m., which is the timeframe that we have determined that the device may have been placed on the roadway.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Shirley Police Tip Line at 978-425-2642 ext. 103 to leave an anonymous message or to provide information about the discovery.

Santiago said the department would provide updates as the investigation continues.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis

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