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Police find military ordnance in a truck which prompted evacuations in Soledad

SOLEDAD, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON APRIL 17, 2024 AT 10:30 A.M: Multiple homes in Soledad were forced to evacuate on Monday after military-grade ammo was discovered.

Soledad Police are now investigating how a neighbor got his hands on the ammo, 105-millimeter howitzer rounds.

"Those rounds, actually, depending on conditions, are deadly and Up to 150 feet," Soledad Police Chief Damon Wasson said. "They're military, you know, used in wars,"

When a howitzer is fired it can create a large blast effect in a surrounding area according to the U.S. Armaments and Ammunition Office, which could be dangerous for the community.

Chief Wasson says he's familiar with this type of ammo and what it's capable of.

"The 105 howitzer rounds and good for probably seven and a half miles so you can shoot a seven and a half miles and it is high explosive," said Wasson.

After neighbors reported it to the police, surrounding homes had to evacuate on Third and Vosti streets for four hours.

"One resident refused to leave," said Wasson. "So we had them shelter in place but it would it'll go through walls, it'll go through cars,"

As they were evacuating – the Monterey County Sheriff's Office bomb squad and the explosive ordnance team from Vandenberg Air Base responded.

Vandenberg Air Base's explosive ordinance team responded and found the ammo had already been previously fired.

Police say they're questioning the person who had the ammo in their trunk but they're likely not to face any charges.

Vandenberg Air Base Explosive Ordnance Team took the ordinance to be destroyed back at the base. Chief Wasson said if you find what could be ammunition, do not go near it and call 911.

Original Story

SOLEDAD, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Monday, the Soledad Police Department discovered an unexploded 105 mm Howitzer round known as a military ordnance while responding to an unrelated call.

People living nearby notified the officers of a potential community threat from a possible bomb being stored in a nearby truck.

"We were advised that the ordinance was found buried in a nearby field, and the person picked up the box, put it in their truck, and brought it home," wrote the Soledad Police Department on their social media pages

Officers said that the noted that the ordnance was old, highly corroded and looked unstable. Responding officers shut down neighboring streets and evacuated residents who were in the area.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad confirmed it was military ordinance.

The ordinance was used in practice rounds and contained old fuses that were still attached, according to the Explosive Ordinance Team from Vandenberg Air Base. The agency confiscated the ordinance to take back to their base and destroy.

Officers are asking anyone who might stumble across something that looks like a military ordnance to please leave the object alone as it can be potentially lethal.

"Something as dangerous as [a] recovered ordinance can be deadly up to 150 feet or more," wrote the Soledad Police Department. Call 911 immediately.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.

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Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46


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