Bomb Squad Removes Box of 60-Year-Old Dynamite From Suburban Chicago Home

Box apparently given to the homeowner by a friend about 60 years ago

Police have cleared the scene after a 50-pound box of dynamite was found in the basement of a suburban home Wednesday.

Evergreen Park Police say a woman cleaning out a 93-year-old man's basement in the 9700 block of Hamlin found the box and asked the homeowner about its contents. She says he informed her it contained dynamite, and asked her to throw it out.

Police say the woman took the box into the backyard and called 911 shortly after 10 a.m.

The homeowner told police he received the box of dynamite more than 60 years ago from a California friend who is now deceased.

The Cook County Bomb Squad was sent to the scene, surrounding residents were evacuated and local schools were placed on lockdown.

A two-man team and a K9 secured the package, which contained 24 sticks of dynamite weighing 50 pounds.

"Doesn't surprise me. Tony was always eccentric, had a lot of things going on in his basement, but for it to be in the neighborhood with everybody around is a little scary," neighbor Mary Sheehan said.

Brian Leiborth, who's lived next door for 18 years, was shocked when police knocked on his door. He said Tony makes wine in his basement, and believes the elderly man simply forgot the box was there.

"He's old, he forgets a lot," Leiborth said. "If he knew about it, he probably forgot about it."

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