Police cordoned off a York street and called the bomb squad in an extraordinary incident in the city centre.
Goodramgate was closed for nearly two hours on Wednesday (June 20) – from close to Savers at one end to the Cross Keys pub at the other – after a member of the public brought a ‘bomb’ into a shop.
It reopened at about 1.05pm.
The man, described as about 19-20 years old, walked in to Blue Moon Trading on the street with the ordnance.
Stuart Sykes, the owner of the shop, told YorkMix how he calmly bought the bomb to take it off the street.
‘Do you buy bombs?’
Mr Sykes said the man came in about 11am this morning (Wednesday):
This man came in, probably 20 years old – ‘Do you buy bombs?’
I said, ‘oh yeah, every day…’ He pulled this out of his jacket – it’s definitely real, he says.
I said, ‘I’ll give you a fiver for it to take it off the street.’ He said, ‘is that all?’ I thought he was going to walk off. I’d have gone to a tenner.
He said, ‘take it mate, take it’. He snatched five pounds off the counter and off he went.
Army called in
Stuart said it looked like a genuine bomb – similar to a large hand grenade, with a pin. He put it in a bullet box in the back of the shop, stored next to a stone wall.
He said he wasn’t nervous about the encounter: “We’re all a long time dead, I couldn’t care.”
He then phoned the police who contacted the Army Bomb Disposal squad.
They arrived shortly before 1pm. Stuart told YorkMix that the army officers had taken the ‘bomb’ away “presumably to do a controlled explosion”.
Police remained on Goodramgate, where Blue Moon has traded for 11 years, after the army left. They were checking the CCTV footage in the shop to see if the man who sold the ‘bomb’ could be identified.
A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said as the incident was ongoing:
Police have cordoned off an area in Goodramgate, York, following the discovery of a suspicious device.
The Blue Moon and neighbouring premises have been evacuated.
It is not believed there is a threat to the wider public, but the road has been closed as a precaution.
The Army Bomb Disposal Unit is attending the scene to assess the device.
People are being urged to avoid the area.