Blinking Device Likely a Movie Prop
A frightened New Jersey thrift shop owner raced to get all her customers out when she said her husband discovered a blinking device that looked like a bomb vest amid a box of items they had purchased in a storage locker auction.
Police also played it safe, evacuating several blocks of downtown Clifton late Thursday and then detonating the device after placing it in a metal bomb disposal box in the middle of a street.
On Friday, police in this city 20 miles west of New York determined the vest was likely the work of Hollywood.
"All indications are that it was a movie prop," said Sgt. Robert Bracken, a city detective.
The Passaic County Bomb Squad, which detonated the device, determined that it contained "no explosive component," said Bill Maer, a spokesman for the unit.
Renee Dimitros, owner of New 4 U, said the device had all the makings of a real bomb-- straps, wires, a timer, buttons and a light that began blinking.
She said her husband, Mike Hamadat, discovered the vest while he was sifting through the items he bought at a storage locker auction.
Dimitros said she told police the items came from Hollywood. She said the storage locker was owned by a man who worked on movies and included props. She said he died last year.
When no one claims the contents of a locker, they are auctioned off.
Dimitros said when she realized it might be a bomb she rushed to get customers out of the store.
"I said hurry up, get out, get out, get out," Dimitros said. "This was a very terrible experience."
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)