When does a Halloween costume accessory cease being a Halloween costume accessory and become a potential explosive device that the bomb squad needs to investigate? When it's in a Bronx bodega where cops are investigating the illegal sale of loose cigarettes, aka "loosies."
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Special Operation Lieutenant and other officers were cracking down on loosies at the EZ-Pass Gourmet Deli on East 187th Street in the Bronx last week. "A further search netted a machete and a stun gun behind the counter... According to the official, the officers continued to search the shop where they found the belt laying on top of canned goods in a back room. It was described as a 52-inch black leather belt with 12 bricks of what appeared to be explosives attached. In addition to the 2-inch by 5-inch bricks, blue, orange, white and red wires were connected, along with a cell-phone car charger that was fashioned to look like a detonator. A cell-phone battery was also jammed into one of the soft clay bricks, the official said."
While the store staff said it was just part of a Halloween costume, the cops left it to the bomb squad to confirm it as harmless—and the bomb squad closed down two blocks in the process. The cops also found an unregistered gun in one of the bodega's owners' apartments. Radhwan Kaid was charged with criminal possession of a weapon as well as evading the tobacco tax, while an employee was also charged with evading tobacco tax. A relative said that they were released on their own recognizance, "It was all a misunderstanding and a false alarm. It was a Halloween costume. All a big joke."