Pieces of the shot-down Chinese spy balloon are expected to wash up near North Carolina and local police are warning residents not to touch it

  • On Saturday, the US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon above the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Police in a North Carolina town warned residents that debris may wash ashore.

  • Local authorities cautioned residents against touching or moving pieces of the balloon.

Authorities in North Carolina are warning residents not to touch or move pieces of the purported Chinese spy balloon that might wash up near the state's shore.

"Debris should not be touched, moved, or removed. Such items are part of a federal investigation and tampering could interfere in that investigation," the Sunset Beach Police Department said Saturday in a statement on Facebook.

Late Saturday, the US military used an F-22 jet to shoot down the spy balloon with a single AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, Insider previously reported. The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily shut down airspace along the Carolina coast as the balloon was being shot down and the Coast Guard asked residents to avoid the area.

Police said the military was working to collect the debris in the Atlantic Ocean, but it's likely that pieces could wash ashore.

"If you locate a piece of debris please contact your local law enforcement agency for collection," police said.

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