Police clear man shown on images in Summerville Goodwill suspicious device incident

VIDEO: Police release surveillance video after suspicious device found at Goodwill store
Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 6:48 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2017 at 8:04 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Summerville Police say a man shown in surveillance video they released Wednesday has been cleared from having any involvement in a suspicious device left at a Goodwill store.

The device was found at the Goodwill on Trolley Road Saturday night.

Late Thursday, Summerville Police Lt. Nick Santanna said the man has been identified and has fully cooperated with the investigation. The man contacted police when he saw surveillance footage of him and his vehicle that the police had provided to local media.

Santanna said the man purchases storage units and donates unsellable items. Through corroborating documentation, the man was able to show that the box of items came from a storage unit he had recently purchased.

"He did not observe the metal device in the box he donated," Santanna said. Because of this, the man was cleared as a suspect, Santanna said.

According to police, the man unknowingly donated a box that contained the device.

Police said they are currently investigating another suspect.

"Currently, this is still an active and on-going investigation," he said.

Police initially released the video showing an SUV pulling up to Goodwill's drive-through area shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday and said the driver unloaded several boxes to donate to the business, then left.

Police said after the employees brought the boxes inside, they noticed what looked like a bomb inside one of them.

According to an incident report, the box contained a metal pipe, some drinking glasses, and several "mortar-style" fireworks. The pipe had a hole drilled in the side with end caps sealing both sides.

Officers ordered the store to be evacuated. The Charleston County Sheriff's Office bomb squad was called in and determined the device to be a threat.

"It had all the makings of being an explosive, it just didn't have the fuse," Santanna said.

Investigators say they used the surveillance video from both outside and inside the Goodwill in an attempt to figure out who left the device at the business.

"You can see the boxes being transported by an employee of Goodwill, and they're being picked up and brought inside. So it's a continuous flow from the outside to the inside," Santanna said.

Folks who shop at Goodwill can't understand why it apparently was targeted.

"Wow, who would have thought a place like Goodwill. I don't know what people are up to, it is scary," Goodwill customer Don Argentina said Wednesday.
A robot removed the device from the store and blew it up in the parking lot.

"That's scary. Why would people want to do that," Goodwill customer Pat Moultrie said. "You know it's awful that we are in a society of today that people want to hurt each other, especially this place helps people.".

Anyone with information should call Summerville Police at 843-871-2463.

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