The resident kept clear of the grenade after he noticed the safety clip that prevents the device from detonating was missing.
In a terse police report, Carrboro police called the grenade a "suspicious object."
Capt. Joel Booker of the Carrboro Police Department said officials did not want to alarm the community.
Carrboro police responded to the scene on North Greensboro Street and upon inspection of the device, noticed there was a hole drilled in the bottom of the shell and that there was no filling.
As an extra precaution, police contacted the Explosive Ordinance Devices unit at Fort Bragg to dispose of the grenade.
According to the Army Study Guide Web site, grenades are used for producing casualties, signaling, screening, producing incendiary effects and riot control.
In light of recent terrorist activity, Booker said the prospect of a live grenade was an obvious concern.
But Booker said police had to keep things in perspective. "It wasn't a big deal," he said.
The resident said he had not been in the area where he found the grenade for two weeks.