A Minnesota sheriff's office has warned street cleaners to be on the lookout for capped soda bottles, as they could contain explosive meth.
Now that spring cleaning is underway, the Dodge County Sheriff's Office says there are risks to anyone involved in a roadside cleaning project who come across one of the bottles.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the sheriff's office said capped soda or sports drinks bottles that contain an "unusual looking substance" could actually contain methamphetamine, with police urging people to be "extremely cautious" if they find one.
Why? Because drug cookers can use these bottles to make meth using the "shake and bake" method, and after getting the meth out they often discard the bottles in roadside ditches.
Popping the cap on one of these bottles can expose the volatile chemicals inside to oxygen, which could cause it to "blow up and cause serious injury or even death."
"If you come across such an item, please do not touch it and contact law enforcement immediately," the sheriff's office said, asking people to share its social media post as "it could save someone's life."
More on the 'shake and bake' method
The "shake and bake" mobile method for making meth has grown in popularity in recent years, with the Seattle Times reporting in 2013 the process was "sweeping across the South and Midwest," but that it could be more appropriately called "ticking time bomb" because of its explosive nature.
South Carolina sheriff's association director Jeff Moore told the newspaper it's a "really insane method" of cooking meth, adding: "Either you cook it and you get meth, or it blows up and you get burned."
The New York Daily News reports the method became popular as it only makes meth in small batches, allowing people to get around laws limiting the amount of the decongestant containing pseudoephedrine – one of the main chemicals used to make meth – that individuals can buy.
Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, did a demonstration of opening one of the bottles, and the result is pretty terrifying.