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Mortar shell in bubble wrap found in Cottonwood Heights

Cottonwood Heights police are on scene of what's described as a live World War II mortar shell.
Cottonwood Heights police are on scene of what's described as a live World War II mortar shell.
Fotolia via Adobe Stock

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A collector found a World War II mortar shell covered in bubble wrap in a box of other items, authorities said.

A veteran apparently treasured the explosive and kept it for decades until his death, when it was passed on to the collector, said Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robby Russo.

"The officers told me it was remarkably well-preserved. And it was wrapped in bubble wrap, which I guess is a great sign," Russo said.

Police were still taking pains to be careful after the collector, whose name has not been released, notified them. With a 70-year-old device, Russo said, "you never know what can happen."

Russo's officers, firefighters and a team from Hill Air Force Base on Monday afternoon blocked off at least a portion of the street while a bomb squad investigated.

The device was found on Cardinal Way (7380 S. 2400 East), Cottonwood Heights police tweeted.

Neighbors said they were relieved it was removed without incident.

"They retrieved it and it's out of here. That's good to know," said Pete Hirsch, who lives nearby. "Everybody's pretty nice, and you don't want to see any harm fall to your neighbors."