A woman cleaning her Center Grove area home Tuesday found something unexpected: two 12-year-old sticks of dynamite.
The woman and her husband worked as Indianapolis Police Department officers before it merged with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, and her husband had been a certified member of the bomb squad, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Matt Rhinehart said.
The former bomb squad technician died about 12 years ago but hadn’t told anyone about two sticks of dynamite in a military ammunition crate in the home in the 4000 block of Cedar Hills Drive, Rhinehart said.
Also inside the crate: handgun and rifle ammunition, a deactivated device called an initiator the military uses to detonate explosives, a few wires and a battery, Rhinehart said.
The woman called police about 12:45 p.m. after finding the explosives and asked them to remove the crate from her home. If the dynamite had exploded, it could have killed someone nearby and caused serious damage to the home. The two sticks likely wouldn’t have destroyed the home or damaged any homes nearby in the neighborhood off Saddle Club Road and north of Smokey Row Road, Rhinehart said.
“A couple sticks of dynamite will blow a pretty good stump out of the ground,” Rhinehart said.
Sheriff Doug Cox said the dynamite needed to be removed and destroyed for residents’ safety.
“Any form of dynamite is dangerous, just because it’s dynamite,” Cox said.
Rhinehart isn’t sure what the former bomb technician was doing with the dynamite.
Bomb technicians are trained every three years and are certified to possess explosives. Sometimes people who find old sticks of dynamite used to clear fields, unexploded hand grenades or other potential explosives give what they find to bomb technicians for safekeeping, Rhinehart said.
But technicians are trained to put those items in safe, explosive-proof storage containers, not take them home, Rhinehart said.
Rhinehart, commander of the sheriff’s office bomb squad, plans to destroy the two sticks of dynamite but first wants to fill an open spot on the bomb squad. Then he’ll use the dynamite to show the new member how to dispose of decade-old explosives.
“I will use it to benefit the team in training,” he said.