MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Investigators say they have found devices meant to start fires hidden in neighborhoods around Minneapolis.

A woman WCCO spoke with Monday made a terrifying discovery this past weekend.

“Gasoline on corners in water bottles, and I’m kind of afraid that someone is going to set it on fire,” she said.

She brought them inside and dumped them. Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder warned the public Monday about unfamiliar objects just like that.

“We don’t have any information that anyone’s in danger in their homes, however we are asking people to look for any items that may be there,” Elder said.

Police are also asking everyone to look out for suspicious cars. One woman in this neighborhood took a picture of one she’s seen twice now.

“His car, he doesn’t have any plates front or back, so I did get scared. I called community action and they told me to call 911,” she said.

Neither woman feels any of this is the work of Minneapolis residents. Leaders have alerted communities about outside agitators, and an Illinois man was federally charged Monday with rioting in the city.

“I don’t think that is the peaceful protesters that are doing that. I think it’s white supremacists and people coming in to start stuff,” she said.

WCCO pressed Minneapolis Police for more information about the harmful objects people are finding, including their locations, but they told us it’s “across the city,” and they didn’t have a total number of reports to share with us either.

Jessica Bromelkamp, a manager with the Capitol Region Watershed District, which protects water resources in St. Paul and Roseville, says residents finding water bottles of gasoline or other substances should contact the police for their safety and the care of lakes and rivers.

She says everything in storm drains along the streets goes directly to a nearby lake or river without treatment. Drains inside of houses go to a waste water treatment plant and eventually waterways.

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization has a list of tips for properly disposing of hazardous materials.

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David Schuman

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