ROCHESTER, Minn. – It’s a learning opportunity after a man brings a potentially explosive device to a Rochester police precinct on Tuesday, causing an evacuation.
The series of events began at Old Rooster Antique Mall.
In an exclusive interview, employee Gene Matzke tells KIMT two women were looking to get rid of some old stuff. Matzke ended up buying a box of military items from them, which included the mystery device.
“Three sticks of dynamite – they were taped together, had some batteries, and a timer,” Matzke said. “But the batteries were corroded and I didn't really think it was a problem.”
Matzke brought the device to the police, and that’s when the chaotic scene unfolded.
“They must've been very, very concerned,” Matzke said. “[They] called the bomb squad in the cities and they came down with a robot and picked it up, took it back to the cities, and several hours later they clarified that it was a dud. It looked authentic, but it was a dud.”
Rochester Police compared the suspicious device to a prop you would see in the movies.
Matzke thought he was doing the right thing.
“I was not concerned at the time,” Matzke said. “So that's why I did it the way I did.”
Now, police are advising people with similar devices to call them. They will come to you in order to avoid situations like on Tuesday.