Box of pipe bombs found in Essex safely destroyed

2 men with metal detectors drive explosives to county police

June 02, 2008|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Sun reporter

Several pipe bombs were safely detonated by Baltimore County police yesterday after being found yesterday afternoon in a swampy area in Essex by two men using metal detectors.

There were no injuries or property damage.

Two men in their mid-20s, one from Port Deposit in Cecil County and the other from Joppatowne in Harford County, were using a metal detector in woods off Bird River Road in Essex about 3:40 p.m. when they came upon a rusty, partially submerged military ammunition box that contained several pipe bombs, black powder, detonating cord and what appeared to be pieces of metal used to fill the bombs, said Officer Jeffrey Fuller of the White Marsh Precinct.

Fuller said the men, who were not identified, used a GPS device to locate the nearest police station and showed up a short time later at the White Marsh precinct with the box and bombs in their car.

"I would never drive around with pipe bombs in my car," said Fuller.

After examining the box and recognizing the 6-inch-long metal tubes as pipe bombs, Fuller reported the incident to a supervisor and the bomb squad and firefighters responded.

Police used a remote-controlled robot to detonate the devices in back of the police station, closing off Perry Hall Boulevard in front of the station and halting traffic at the nearby 7-Eleven and Burger King, which are both across the street.

Fuller said the bombs were placed, one at a time, by a bomb squad officer on the ground next to a brick wall in back of the station and destroyed by a detonating device attached to the robot. Fuller said he could hear the robot's detonating device going off from the police station's front desk.

Bill Toohey, a Police Department spokesman, said police were investigating and that it was too early to say who might have been responsible for leaving the bombs in the woods.

Anyone with information is urged to call the White Marsh Precinct at 410-887-5000.

"This happens once in a while," Toohey said. He recalled that after a World War II veteran died a few years ago, the man's family found a live grenade among his personal property and called police.

Like the pipe bombs, the grenade was safely destroyed.

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