(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)
A Pottsboro homeowner received an unwelcome housewarming gift Thursday after officials said a device meant to look like a pipe bomb was discovered inside the residence.
Grayson County Constable Mike Putman said he was called to the home off Bentwood Drive at approximately 10 a.m. to conduct a walk-through of the foreclosed property with the new homeowners and remove any unauthorized occupants. Putman said, on paper, the home was unoccupied for two years, but evidence inside the residence indicated at least one unknown person had been staying in the property on a regular basis. The constable said he found no one inside the house, but discovered the suspicious device during his search.
“As I was coming through the side with the bedrooms and down the hall, I observed something laying on the floor,” Putman said. "I hit it with my flashlight and it was a piece of PVC pipe, 18-20 inches long, that appeared it could have been some type of pipe bomb device.”
Putman said the device also appeared to have capped ends and a fuse or string, which ran along the floor and connected to a couch.
“It looked like if you tried to move the furniture, it may then have gone off,” Putman said.
Following his discovery, Putman said he immediately contacted the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, who in turn called on the Plano Police Department Bomb Squad for assistance. At least one official with the Plano Bomb Squad was outfitted with a blast-resistant suit and another was seen wearing a protective vest and helmet.
“They did first X-ray it and they couldn’t see anything inside of it,” Putman said of the device. “Luckily, there was nothing in it.”
Putman did, however, say he believed that the device was intentionally built to look like a functional pipe bomb. As a precautionary measure, Putman said technicians neutralized the device with an explosive tool of their own akin to a shotgun shell with a fuse.
“Thank God it was a dummy device,” Putman said. “Everything is good now and everybody is safe.”
Surrounding streets were blocked off for roughly two hours during the incident. It was unclear whether the residents of neighboring properties were evacuated.