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Device that looks like a RPG forces evacuation of two Petersburg businesses

Posted at 10:11 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:07:29-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Less than 48 hours into a new job separating scrap metals in Petersburg Friday morning, Taylor Moss found something that at first glance appears to belong in a toy store.

“Initially we thought it was a toy,” Moss said.

But, after taking a closer look, “I was like, nah, this don’t look like no toy this has got a pipe screwed into it, a fuse,” Moss said.

Moss’s co-worker told their boss who promptly called 911.


The business, Atlantic Iron and Metal, and a nearby Dollar General, were both evacuated by police Friday morning.

“That could have possibly took someone’s life,” Moss said.

Police said the device, which looks very similar to a rocket propelled grenade used in Russia or the Middle East, was inactive and did not have any explosive powder in it.

“That is absolutely something that could be mistaken for a rocket launcher,” Dylan Seibert, who served as a Marine overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan, said.

He said he came across a lot of rocket propelled weapons there.

Atlantic Iron and Metal

Atlantic Iron and Metal

“That’s how I can tell it’s not what it was originally thought to be,” Seibert said.

Seibert, who now works at Colonial Shooting Academy, said the device does not have enough components to be a live weapon.

“It could be something they use for training at one of our bases down here, or it could be just a weather rocket,” Seibert said.

Moss may never know exactly what it was used for, but he looks forward to day three on the job.

“I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow,” Moss said.