On Thursday, May 30, 2013, around 12:30 pm, the Riverside County Sheriff's Hazardous Device Team responded to the 49000 block of Bonita, in Cabazon, reference a large amount of military ordnance items.
At the location, bomb technicians discovered a huge stash of WWII era military ordnance items, including small arms casings and projectiles, 2000 20mm practice projectiles, 75mm practice projectiles, several signal flares, inert rifle grenades, over 2000 grenade bodies, training grenade fuses, several training land mines, 160 100 pound training bombs, and 18 500 pound training bombs.
Due to the amount and types of items at the location, the 29 Palms Marine Corps Combat Center's Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit responded to assist with identifying and removing the items. They were able to provide technical information as well as manpower. Fortunately, most of the items were inert, but many of the items were illegal to possess. The items that presented a danger were quickly identified and returned to the military. The former owner is deceased and had collected the items over several years from unknown sources and locations. Due to the large size of the cache, the last items were removed on Tuesday, June 04, 2013.
Collecting military ordnance can be very dangerous because many training items look very similar to live items. It is extremely dangerous to pick up military ordnance items. In some cases, live military ordnance items fail to function in training and are left sitting and exposed to the environment for long periods of time. One small movement can cause them to function and seriously injure or kill people.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Hazardous Device Team responds to countless military ordnance calls each year and many of them involve live, and very dangerous items. The public is encouraged to report any suspected military ordnance items, bombs, or similar explosives by calling the Sheriff's Department at (951) 776-1099.