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Suspected Harlem 'bomb' turns out to be cellphone

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 10:42 AM
Last updated 6:29 PM
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A Harlem man was arrested Monday after authorities tried to blow up his charging cellphone, thinking it was an incendiary device.

William Edward Gillis, 40, of Lamkin Road, was charged with criminal trespass and theft of services, according to Harlem Police Department Chief Gary Jones.

Jones said the owner of property leased to Providence Presbyterian Church at 709 W. Milledgeville Road called police just after 11 a.m. after he discovered a blue plastic coffee can under the church sign near the road. A wire was coming out of a hole and was taped to the side of the can. The cord ran several feet to a nearby electrical plug.

“All the criteria (for an incendiary device were) there,” Jones said. “We certainly weren’t going to tamper with it.”

Traffic was diverted away from the area for about an hour.

Jones said the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was called in and tried to detonate the device. Authorities had information that something like a celphone might have been inside the can, but none of the residents who live in mobile homes behind the church knew about it.

As the bomb squad tried to detonate the can a third time, Jones said, Gillis called authorities and told them his cellphone was inside the can. Gillis, who lives behind the church, said he doesn’t have electricity and was charging his phone. He went with authorities and opened the can, revealing his phone.

Gillis was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on Tuesday on a $1,520 bond, according to jail records.

Comments (24) Add comment
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icemanw83
37
Points
icemanw83 10/01/13 - 10:46 am
15
0
Incompetence

Is anyone else bother by the fact that they couldn't blow up a cell phone after three tries?

bright idea
853
Points
bright idea 10/01/13 - 10:54 am
8
3
Sign of the Times

No electricity but a cell phone and mooching to charge it. The government will now issue vouchers to pay for phone charging.

Dixieman
15999
Points
Dixieman 10/01/13 - 11:53 am
9
0
Laughing...

...THREE TRIES and they could not get it?
And the neighbor of a church who thinks it provides free electricity?
This is almost as good as watching the Clown Car Collisions in Washington DC this morning.
This will be re-enacted at the next Laurel and Hardy festival!
Thanks for the laugh!

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/01/13 - 11:07 am
5
1
Thanks for the laugh!

Thanks for the laugh!

Riverman1
87019
Points
Riverman1 10/01/13 - 11:51 am
7
0
Heh, heh, heh.

Heh, heh, heh. If he can't pay his electric bill, he's not making bond.

scoopdedoop64
2425
Points
scoopdedoop64 10/01/13 - 12:38 pm
6
1
Over reaction

This seems like an over reaction to me. If I were him I would sue the RCSO for destroying my property. Yeah, he was stealing electricity and he gets what he gets I know. But still it seems a little excessive to me. I think the judge should just throw this out as a lesson learned. Next time he should go to the airport. 3 times can't blow it up! Duh, you can't blow something up that is "NOT" explosive. Do you think after the first time maybe someone should have said, hey, maybe it's just a phone. :)

happychimer
18653
Points
happychimer 10/01/13 - 01:00 pm
5
6
Do any of you know how long

Do any of you know how long the man's electricity had been off? a day? a week? So if someone's electricity is off, they can't have a phone? I know of people who had their electricity turned off and had to be without it till they got paid. not us, but a few we know. I can't laugh and make fun of those that have less than I do. He was wrong to steal electricity. He should have asked if he could charge his phone.

bdouglas
5398
Points
bdouglas 10/01/13 - 01:33 pm
4
2
"Blow up" was a poor choice

"Blow up" was a poor choice of words by the writer. The bomb squad "detonates" incendiary devices. Yeah, it's often done with explosive charges, but the point is to use those to GET the supposed incendiary device to detonate. They tried 3 times to get the "bomb" to detonate, and it didn't...because it wasn't a bomb.

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/01/13 - 02:11 pm
2
2
It seems he can't afford a

It seems he can't afford a razor either.

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/01/13 - 02:13 pm
3
2
Where did it say his cell

Where did it say his cell phone was destroyed?

scoopdedoop64
2425
Points
scoopdedoop64 10/01/13 - 06:59 pm
5
0
@KSL

I stand corrected KSL, it doesn't. I was jumping to conclusions that if they tried to blow it up that it would cause damage to the phone.

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 10/01/13 - 10:13 pm
4
0
Weird Things Going On...

....in Columbia County these days.

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/01/13 - 10:20 pm
2
1
Weird things going on

Weird things going on everywhere.

CobaltGeorge
165022
Points
CobaltGeorge 10/01/13 - 10:22 pm
1
1
Your Right harley

the damn Deer are chasing the Dogs. Real weird!

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/01/13 - 11:50 pm
3
0
There is more than just deer

There is more than just deer chasing the dogs!

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 10/02/13 - 06:02 am
4
2
Cell phone is not one word

Cell phone is not one word and it has two l's last I checked. Heck why not just say mobile phone and make it easy? This is the silliest thing i've ever seen. They only charged this guy because they were angry that he wasted resources. He could have asked, but come on that's petty.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 10/02/13 - 08:08 am
3
2
Whatever company makes that
Unpublished

Whatever company makes that phone should use this. "The toughest phone on the market. You can't even blow it up."

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 08:13 am
0
0
It takes a detonation and keeps on texting. LOL LOL
Unpublished

It takes a detonation and keeps on texting. LOL LOL

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 08:14 am
0
0
CC Homeland Security Drill. Like the BB gun, AKA, AK47. LOL
Unpublished

CC Homeland Security Drill. Like the BB gun, AKA, AK47. LOL

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 08:16 am
0
0
Lord help us if CC ever needs more than a "cleanup crew".
Unpublished

Government cannot PROTECT you. They do little to SERVE you.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 10/02/13 - 08:37 am
0
3
Isn't that "mobille" phone?
Unpublished

Isn't that "mobille" phone?

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/02/13 - 09:48 am
2
2
For young fred and cg

I know you have seen this, but the talk about deer got me hunting.

http://www.thejournal-news.net/opinion/commentary/here-s-looking-at-you-...

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/02/13 - 10:28 am
2
3
Happy

Did you look at his mug shot. In the first place, he looks older than 40. And it looks like he has no water either.

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/02/13 - 10:26 am
1
1
KSL

An olde' but a goody! I still laugh every time I read that!

Once, I got it in my head I was going to trap a live Raccoon using a snare. At the last minute, something in the back of my mind said "this ain't a good idea". I bet that story had something to do with the warning bells.

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/02/13 - 10:40 am
0
2
A step child of one of my

A step child of one of my dad's best friends in law school raised a racoon. You do not want to live with a racoon.He/she would open his dresser drawers and pull everything out.

djkillaran
89
Points
djkillaran 10/02/13 - 12:45 pm
3
0
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad was called in to detonate a device that was pluged in to a electrical outlet??? Huh!!! What person makes a bomb you have to plug in to a eletrical outlet. Really!!! All they had to do is kill the power. What a waste of time and taxpayers dollers. LMAO!!

KSL
134594
Points
KSL 10/02/13 - 12:50 pm
0
1
Me too.

Me too.

Old School Values
126
Points
Old School Values 10/02/13 - 03:12 pm
3
0
The price of Electricity is

The price of Electricity is high but do you realize how much money it has cost to arrest him and keep him in jail? If he had turned his power back on, sure charge him then but not for just charging a phone. Let him cut the grass at the Church in return for that...

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 10/02/13 - 03:37 pm
2
0
Old School -

What you suggest makes too much sense. The bomb squad was called and by God, somebody's going down!!!

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