The Berrien County Bomb Squad was in the middle of a training exercise this morning when they were pressed into action for real to remove a device that bore a strong resemblance to a possible pipe bomb outside of a Niles retailer.
Nobody was injured in the early morning incident, and there's no confirmation yet if the device was, in fact, a pipe bomb, but authorities chose to err on the side of caution, regardless.
An Iowa tree service firm that has been working in the south county region for several months had been granted permission by Rural King of Niles to park service vehicles in their parking lot. When a driver for that firm, Wright Tree Service, approached his trailer shortly before 8am this morning he spotted the suspicious device and called police.
Police called the Berrien County Bomb Squad to the scene on S. 11th Street in Niles, where they eventually removed what appeared to be a portion of black PVC piping material capped at both ends. The bomb squad removed the device and placed it into a special container without incident and then removed it from the premises for further investigation.
There was no immediate indication as to when the device had been placed on the trailer or if it was actually an explosive device.