A volunteer at an Etobicoke Goodwill store got a fright Christmas Eve when he found what appeared to be two grenades in a donated bag.
Toronto police got the call just before 1 p.m. for a suspicious incident at the 4975 Dundas St. W. Goodwill store near Islington Avenue.
“A volunteer sorting through donations grabbed a duffel bag and inside was an army utility belt with what he said was a small knife and two grenades,” Const. Victor Kwong said. “It never could have detonated. It’s made for training, a replica. But to the untrained eye, it would have looked real.”
Police sent its Emergency Task Force officers to the store to secure the items, which were destroyed.
The Goodwill store was evacuated during the police operation.
Police do not know the identity of the donor who dropped off the bag. But the donation is not considered intentionally harmful.
“It doesn’t appear to be malicious,” Kwong said.
Goodwill spokesperson Brian Kellow confirmed never before has a dummy grenade been donated to Goodwill.
Kellow urged Goodwill donors to check inside bags and boxes before donation, a timely reminder since Goodwill receives many new donations after the onslaught of new Christmas gifts.
“Our donors are extraordinarily generous and considerate,” Kellow said. “We don’t believe anyone had ill will or malice in donating this bag. Sometimes, people donate boxes or bags from their basement or from a chest or from a relative without looking in it first. We’d ask them to check inside first.
“Think about what is suitable to donate for resale and reuse.”