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A Madison police sergeant had an eye-opening experience early Saturday morning when he found an artillery shell left by someone at the west district police station's doorway.

The 105 millimeter shell, which had a date of 1918 stamped into its bottom, was dismantled by the Dane County bomb squad and discovered to be inert.

The shell was found at about 3 a.m. Saturday outside the door at the station at 1710 McKenna Blvd., police said.

"It probably was a keepsake from World War I, brought back by a veteran," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. "The veteran's relatives were probably left wondering what to do with the artifact."

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