Tampa Bay columnists
Mary Jo Melone
World & Nation
AP The Wire
Comics & Games
Home & Garden
Advertise with the Times
Bogus bomb triggers evacuation of homes
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2000
BRANDON -- About 40 homes were evacuated Tuesday morning after a county worker found a 2-foot-long PVC pipe with wires attached to a battery.
Nearly six hours later, a Hillsborough Sheriff's Office bomb squad concluded the pipe was not a bomb, but a device made to look like one.
Robert Helms, a 12-year employee of the county's water department, discovered the device while working in the dried-up retention pond behind the 800 block of Windsor Circle.
He called 911 at 9:44 a.m.
Homes were evacuated, and nearby Limona Elementary School moved about 150 students into the media center and cafeteria as a precaution.
Limona students who normally walk or ride their bicycles had to take a bus or wait for their parents to pick them up.
Investigators don't know who built the fake bomb or why. Neither did neighbors such as 50-year-old Jean Hiller.
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.