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JSO finds military-grade mortar shells in backyard

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Updated: 11/09/2013 8:34 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- About a dozen homes in a Southside neighborhood were evacuated after JSO found two military-grade mortar shells in a resident's backyard.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the call came in around 12:30 p.m. from a contractor who was working at a vacant mobile home on the 7500 block of Covewood Drive inside the Southern Oaks neighborhood.

Police say the contractor noticed the mortar shells lying on the ground in the back yard.

The bomb squad was called out to the scene and the Navy was also contacted.

It took about three hours before JSO determined it was safe to let people back in their homes.

According to the JSO, the mortar shells appear to be from the 1970s and are more than a foot long.

Paul Jarnutowski, who manages the community's homeowners association, said they're taking the incident very seriously.

"We're going to have a board meeting with the homeowners association and definitely put their mind at ease that the police had it under control. These guys risk their lives to take care of stupid things like this all the time," said Jarnutowski.

Police are investigating where the mortar shells came from. JSO believes the devices may have been thrown over the fence from a large, empty field behind the home.

The mortar shells have been handed over to the Navy.
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