, 2014

Law enforcement authorities confirm
two bottle bombs on Fleets Bay Road

by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—Two bottle bombs were discovered Wednesday at a residence on Fleets Bay Road, according to Sheriff Ronnie Crockett.

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This bottle bomb was discovered Wednesday at a residence on Fleets Bay Road.

The sheriff’s department was alerted to the bombs by a resident who found his mailbox vandalized and a soft drink bottle wrapped in duct tape containing fluid and foil nearby.

Deputies responded and identified the bottle as an exploded bottle bomb. A search of the area uncovered an unexploded bottle bomb in a ditch. Recovered by the Virginia State Police Arson and Bomb Squad, it was found to contain a hazardous gas that could cause serious injury.

“The problem is that teens may think this is just a prank, but there is real danger here,” said Crocket. “One of these can produce enough force to sever fingers and cause second and third degree burns. Immediately after explosion the liquid is actually boiling.”

The sheriff described bottle bombs as generally made in two-liter bottles or may consist of two, or more, smaller plastic bottles. They contain household chemicals, which in combination produce a hazardous gas.

The bottles may also be wrapped in duct tape or electrical tape to help strengthen the bottle and delay the explosion, which occurs due to vapor build-up, he said.

Bottle bombs are often placed in mailboxes, on driveways and in yards, continued Crockett. The bomb may not explode until they are picked up by the unsuspecting property owner or child who does not recognize the danger they pose.

Making a bottle bomb or any similar device is a felony in Virginia.

Anyone finding a bottle bomb or other suspicious package should leave the item alone, direct others away from the area and immediately notify the sheriff’s office.

Report information regarding the bottle bombs found on Fleets Bay Road to Crime Solvers at 462-7463. Callers are not asked to identify themselves or come to court, but may receive a reward of up to $1,000.

Also assisting Lancaster Sheriff’s Department were Lancaster Emergency Management Services and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

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