FBI Seeks to Recover 'Potentially Explosive Military' Bombs From Homes

The FBI in St. Louis is seeking to recover "potentially explosive military" items, such as bombs, mines and cannonballs, which could harm residents if not handled correctly.

In a press release, the FBI St. Louis field office said that the agency's Eastern Missouri Bomb Tech Task Force and other local law enforcement partners will be "on stand-by" to recover these type of items. FBI St. Louis will be assisted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol as well as several other local ale enforcement agencies.

"Local, state, and federal bomb technicians are repeatedly called to residences and businesses where owners have discovered a potentially dangerous explosive device," the press release said. "This is the first concentrated effort in Eastern Missouri and the Metro East to proactively recover as many pieces of military ordnance as possible."

The FBI St Louis said that these potentially explosive military items could have been brought home by family members who served in the military "as mementos." They also noted that these military items could have been purchased at "swap meets and similar venues."

According to the press release, these military items can potentially contain harmful chemicals or highly explosive materials, resulting in a possible dangerous situation if not handled correctly.

"As time passes, these items can become less stable, resulting in a higher risk of injury when handling them," the press release said.

The FBI asked residents in the St. Louis area to call the bureau's field office if they discover or have any of these potentially explosive military ordinances in their possession.

A spokesperson for the FBI St. Louis field office told Newsweek that this announcement comes after the office has experienced an uptick in calls regarding military devices found on people's property.

The spokesperson also told Newsweek that earlier this month, the FBI St. Louis Eastern Missouri Bomb Tech Task Force recovered three Civil War–era cannonballs after they were initially discovered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Mississippi River.

"This recovery week is focused on recovering military ordnance to prevent injury," Interim Special Agent in Charge Spencer Evans of the FBI St. Louis division, said. "Bomb squad technicians will only ask questions that help them identify the items and ensure their safe disposal. This initiative is not designed to gather evidence or prosecute people."

While speaking with KSDK News in St. Louis, Evans explained that many of these items have "been handed down for years."

Brian Reimer with the St. Charles Police Bomb Squad told KSDK that "these are munitions that are designed to kill people. That's pretty much their sole purpose and that's what we're trying to stop."

Reimer told the local news station that when his office receives reports of potentially explosive military items, his bomb squad team will respond and transport it to the St. Louis County bomb range, where officials will "counter-charge it," in a safe and controlled environment.

The FBI's St. Louis field office is working to recover "potentially explosive military" items from homes this week. Above, the seal of the F.B.I. hangs in the Flag Room at the bureau's headquarters March 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty