Suspicious device outside car dealer’s home was part of entrance gate, family says

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) –  A suspicious device found outside the home of Tri-Cities car dealers Steve and Ashley Grindstaff turned out to be sensor on a security gate.

Johnson City Police Chief Mark Sirois said the department’s bomb squad was called to the home off Field Road in west Elizabethton Friday afternoon.

The device was destroyed by the bomb squad.

Ashley Grindstaff confirmed to News Channel 11 that a landscaper found what appeared to be a pipe bomb somewhere near the home.

The Grindstaff’s were not home at the time, but the landscaper called to alert them of the device. The Grindstaff’s then called police.

“We’re very shook up right now,” Ashley Grindstaff said on the phone. “We have no idea who would do this.”

Elizabethton Police Department issued a news release around 5:50 p.m. Friday saying “due to the physical appearance of the object, officers requested the assistance from members of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team of the Johnson City Police Department. Further inspection of the item revealed the object to have components that would be consistent with an improvised explosive device. At that time, the device was rendered safe by EOD.”

“The device was determined to be non-explosive in nature and the origin is unknown at this time,” the release said. “The investigation is being conducted by Tennessee Bomb and Arson with the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Elizabethton Police Department.”

An investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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