TOPSHAM, Maine — The Maine State Police bomb team retrieved a 2-foot-long military shell from the parking lot of a condominium complex near Mt. Ararat High School on Wednesday night. The team later learned the bazooka-like shell was used by the military but never contained explosives.

Topsham police and the state fire marshal’s office also went to the complex on Munroe Lane between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. and asked residents of more than a dozen condominiums not to leave their homes for several hours while the device was retrieved, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a news release.

The device was discovered late Wednesday afternoon by someone walking in the area, McCausland said.

The bomb team used a remote-controlled robot to remove the shell and transported it in a trailer about a half a mile to Harry C. Crooker & Sons Construction on Route 196, where it was examined and determined to be safe.

Police cleared the area at about midnight, McCausland said.

Officials from the fire marshal’s office suspect the shell was left in the parking lot by someone who didn’t know what to do with it, McCausland said.

“Investigators say, when it doubt, call police, so it can be examined and quietly properly disposed of without disturbing an entire neighborhood,” McCausland said.