A pipe bomb lookalike was left near a Honda dealership on Route 37 Thursday morning intentionally, police believe.
Police, fire and EMS units, as well as a state police bomb squad, were called to Honda of Toms River at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, police spokesman Ralph Stocco said. Honda workers discovered the suspected device in the parking lot and phoned the police department, he said.
The business and surrounding homeowners in the area of Dale and Hill streets were evacuated as a precautionary measure, Stocco said. The New Jersey State Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit responded to evaluate the device, and eventually deployed a remotely-operated robot to approach the device and observe it with a video camera.
They then utilized a portable x-ray to internally examine the object, said Stocco. Finally, wearing protective gear, they approached and disabled the object. The area was given the “all clear” at 11:30 a.m.
The object was determined not to be an explosive or incendiary device, however it was manufactured to look like one, Stocco said. It is a metal cylinder approximately 12 inches long and 5 inches wide and was wrapped in black tape and had several wires and electrical connecters protruding from the ends.
“It was placed there intentionally for an, as yet to be determined motive,” Stocco said. “The investigators remain on the scene reviewing video footage and speaking to potential witnesses.”
Also assisting the Toms River Criminal Investigative Bureau were members of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Companies #1 and #2, and Toms River EMS, said Stocco.