A Pizza Hut employee called police Wednesday after finding a hand grenade in a dumpster while taking out the trash at the South Main Street business.
Statesboro police Community Information Specialist Madison Meadows said the employee called around 10:30 a.m. after finding the suspicious item.
Responding officers contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 5 Office to assist, she said.
GBI Special Agent-in-Charge John Durden said a bomb technician from the Savannah GBI drug division was called to the scene, who determined that the grenade was indeed real but had been rendered safe.
“It was a training grenade,” he said, explaining that it had been altered to remove the explosives. “It was real, but gutted, and not dangerous.”
The altered grenades “are not uncommon” and often used in training exercises. It did not appear that the object was intentionally placed as a prank or threat; it looked like someone had just tossed it in the trash, he said.
There were no phone calls or messages found regarding the grenade that could have indicated it was an intentional act, he said.
A manager at Pizza Hut’s South Main restaurant said she could not comment on the incident but said the franchise owner and district manager were also on the scene.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.