CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. -- A teddy bear discarded on the side of a road in North Carolina was stuffed with a bomb, police said today.
A newspaper carrier on his rounds Thursday morning saw the teddy bear aside the road in Cleveland County, N.C., and pulled over to pick it up, according to Capt. Philip Todd of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department.
“He stopped, got out, picked it up and when he did there was some kind of device that fell out of the teddy bear,” Todd told ABCNews.com.
Anthony Cannon, the newspaper carrier who found the bear, could not be reached for comment by ABC News. But Todd said Cannon brought the bear home to his house in Shelby, N.C., and noticed that it had started smoking, prompting him to call police.
Shelby police, the sheriff’s office and a local bomb squad all responded to Cannon’s call and secured the device.
“The captain of the bomb squad said it appeared to be an incendiary device, and it had malfunctioned, and that’s the reason it did not activate,” Todd said.
Police are still investigating how and why the explosive teddy bear was on the side of the road in Cleveland County.
“I’m just trying to figure out why you would put a bomb in a teddy bear in the first place. If anybody would have picked it up it would have been a child,” Cannon’s neighbor Jessica Burge told ABC News affiliate WSOC.