A maintenance firm contracted to work on an abandoned and foreclosed home in Illinois owned by Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. made a startling discovery while draining the flooded basement: pipe bombs and tear gas grenades were uncovered when the water had been removed, leading the surprised workers to notify both Countrywide and local authorities. Police were reported to have responded to the scene at 3245 203rd St. in Lynwood (Chicago Heights), IL.

The Village of Lynwood Police Department would not acknowledge there had been a response to that address when we called. Apparently shrouded in secrecy, Police Report #1633 is not for release to any newspaper or online news agency. According to a Police spokesperson, "the release has to be approved by the Chief" and he is not around for a week.

Bob Cripe and Andy Steinbrecher were the two subcontractors who made the discovery. The pipe bombs "appeared to be hand-made" according to their observation. Other persons on the site were said to have determined the "handful" of grenades were likely tear gas based on the "blue sheen" of the containers. Contractor Paul Julian of Paul Julian Inc. told us authorities removed the ordnance by hand, and work on the house later resumed.

Neighbors told our sources that the prior owner, who was believed to have been employed at the National Guard facility in Lynwood, IL, was arrested and jailed some time ago for charges unknown. The owner's two sons had reportedly been using the residence before it was abandoned, and Countrywide later foreclosed on the property. With the electricity off, a sump pump in the basement was not functioning and water had filled the lower level. Countrywide had enlisted a field services company to remove the water in an effort to preserve the building.

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