An East Greenville homeowner had an unwelcome surprise when he took his trash out Tuesday morning – several suspicious latex gloves hanging on his property at 349 Jefferson Street.
The gloves, each tied with a dark pink or red ribbon, were filled with an unknown liquid.
“I came out at 8:30 to throw the trash out and I saw the glove hanging from my basketball hoop,” said homeowner Joe Guertin. “I’ve been here for 13 years and never had anything like this happen. It looked like there was some kind of liquid inside it. I called 911.”
A subsequent search of the property turned up two more gloves, one hanging from the fence to Guertin’s rear yard and one that looked as if it had been thrown over the fence and was located next to the pump for the family pool.
Upper Perk Police Chief Mike Devlin and Officer Tom Sands responded to the scene and called for the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Bomb Squad.
Captain Mike Wetzel, of the East Greenville Fire Department, and Borough Manager Jim Frye also assisted at the location by putting up barricades to cordon the area off from the public.
Upon arrival at 10:15 a.m., bomb squad personnel shot down the hanging gloves using a pellet gun and later examined the substance inside all three. Chief Devlin later confirmed the gloves were filled with liquid soap.
A note, that looked to be several sentences long written in black ink, was also extracted from one of the gloves.
Bomb squad personnel turned that note over as evidence to Upper Perk Police. Chief Devlin said the note is currently being analyzed. It was covered in soap.
Guertin said he didn’t see anything suspicious in the area but thought the gloves might have been related to fireworks being shot in the rear parking lot of 340 Main Street in East Greenville, by School Alley, adjacent to his rear yard Monday night.
While his family members were not responsible for the fireworks, Guertin thought an unhappy neighbor could have attributed it to them. Otherwise, he said, he could think of no reason for the bizarre occurrence.
“Usually I have a yard full of kids,” noted Guertin. “They’re a good bunch. They’re either playing basketball or in the pool. I don’t know why this happened.”
Chief Devlin urged residents to always call the proper authorities when they come across a suspicious substance.
“Any time there is a potentially hazardous substance, it’s better safe than sorry,” he said. “Acid bombs are very dangerous. Don’t downplay [these situations].”
Anyone with information is asked to call Upper Perk Police at (215)679-8203.