Bomb squad detonates suspicious device in Clifton

May 10, 2013 9:15:02 AM PDT
A suspicious device found in a New Jersey thrift shop was detonated by authorities after a scare that closed a four-block radius and shut down a major highway.

Authorities did not take any chances before destroying the device, which they say turned out to be a movie prop.

Renee Dimitros, who owns the New 4 U Thrift and Vintage Shop on Lakeview Avenue in Clifton with her husband, found the suicide vest-like device inside a storage locker she bought at an auction.

She said she bought 11 storage units at the auction in Paterson in the hopes of selling some of the contents in the store, which the couple has only owned for two months.

When she opened one of the units, she found a harness with electronics on the front. She also found a pouch with cylinders, wiring and a red button.

Her husband, Mike Hamadat, apparently started fiddling with the device, believing it to be a prop.

"But when he started picking it up, and I noticed that it looked like a vest," Dimitros said. "And I seen lights flashing, and I could see that it had these four cylinders in the front. I said 'Mike, that's a bomb. That is a bomb. Put it down! Put it down! Put it down!"

Hamadat had flipped a yellow switch next to the red button, which apparently started flashing, and the couple immediately called 911.

Responding officers blocked off the four-block area as the investigated. Nearby Route 46, which runs near the store, was temporarily closed in both directions.

After examining the device, officials from the Passaic County Bomb Squad detonated it a large explosion.

Hamadat said he was just concerned about the residents living above the store.

Clifton police officials say they consider the suspicious device incident to be unfounded after it was determined to be a movie prop and not an explosive device.