Golf ball in garden bed tees off evacuation of businesses
A MONTH after the last homemade bomb drama in Ipswich, police were in action again on Tuesday when a caller reported a suspicious object thought to be a bomb in a garden bed at Home HQ Ipswich.
The call was made at 11.34am by a staff member of one of the businesses within the West Ipswich shopping complex.
The centre is located less than 500m from the Clay St home where about 2kg of explosive material was found late last month.
Ipswich police were quickly mobilised for an emergency evacuation.
People were asked to vacate nearby stores for up to 30 minutes as police investigated the golf ball-shaped object, which later proved to be harmless.
In light of recent bomb events, Ipswich police Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt said it was understandable why someone would have been worried about the object. He said such evacuation precautions were necessary, especially considering the object was found near where the earlier bomb incidents occurred.
But after police attended the scene and inspected the object they found it was not a bomb, but an actual golf ball.
Casual Coffee owner Margaret Howard and her staff had to evacuate and wait for the police to give the all clear.
She said it was frustrating to have to close the store during the lunch-hour rush, but understood the precautions.
Ms Howard believed that with all the recent bomb incidents reported in Ipswich, residents might be on edge.
In May, a 15-year-old boy lost part of his hand after picking up a golf ball bomb in Dampier St, about 2km from the Clay St property. Five days later, police found an explosive device attached to the gate of a building site on Clay St. And last month, a 37-year-old man was severely injured when a device exploded at the Clay St home, which was found to be stockpiled with volatile chemicals.
Officers were forced to carry out 14 controlled explosions at the home to make the area safe.
Resident Glen Charles Dell, 43, was charged in relation to the three offences.
"At the end of the day, the police will attend to have a look at any suspicious devices reported," Det. Insp. Strohfeldt said.