UPDATE, 6:36 p.m., Jan. 24, 2019
STOCKTON — Hundreds of military explosive devices found at a California home were replicas, experts determined Friday.
Twenty homes were evacuated for nearly 24 hours after Stockton police officers found the explosives Thursday when they went to the home to check on a 70-year-old man who reportedly died of natural causes, police said.
An ordnance disposal team from Travis Air Force Base was called to help deal with the devices and announced on Friday afternoon that they were non-explosive replicas, KCRA-TV reported.
Evacuations were lifted at about 3:30 p.m.
The team also found 25 small flares and fuses that would be removed, the station said.
“Replicas are not necessarily illegal. You just have to be making sure that you can show that it’s a replica and it’s safe,” Air Force Lt. Col. Glenn Cameron said.
Police said the man who died in the home didn’t have a military background but appeared to have been a collector of military items, KCRA-TV reported.
STOCKTON — Police and military personnel plan to return Friday to a home in Stockton where officials found “hundreds” of military explosives, prompting the evacuation of 20 homes.
Bomb squad officers determined the devices were likely military and called Travis Air Force Base for assistance, Silva told the Stockton Record reported.
Base experts were on location throughout Thursday examining the devices. A team is expected to return Friday to continue removing the explosives from the home in the 2900 block of Rockford Avenue, Silva said.
Twenty Homes in the Area Had to Be Evacuated
“You have to look at each device, determine if it’s live or not and then figure out exactly how you’re going to move it out of the residence,” Silva said.
It’s unclear if the man had ever served in the military or why he had stockpiled the weapons, Silva said. Police are also unsure if anyone else had been living at the residence with him.
Twenty homes in the area had to be evacuated and a shelter was set up by the Red Cross for those affected.
Dale Boyd lives in one of the homes in the evacuation zone. He said he didn’t know the man personally, but described him as a nice guy who always smiled and waved.
“Never caused a problem,” Boyd said.