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Aug-13-2006 23:57printcomments

Pipe Bombs Found in The Salem Area

So far the origin of the four explosive devices recovered in Salem remains a mystery, and police are worried that there could be more.

pipe bomb diagram
Components of a pipe bomb
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(SALEM) - Salem Police issued an updated release regarding the explosive devices that were found in Salem Thursday. Three pipe bombs were found in Salem, one was recovered in Dallas. No one was injured in the incidents.

Salem Police Lt. Bill Kohlmeyer says investigators met Friday to review evidence and discuss leads in this case.

He says that from the similarities in the construction of the four pipe bombs found in the Salem/Dallas area yesterday, investigators believe they were constructed by the same person or persons.

"We have established a task force to conduct the investigation. The Salem Police Department and the ATF are the lead agencies but other task force members include the Oregon State Police, the Marion County Sheriffs Office, the Dallas Police Department and the FBI."

No Suspects have been developed at this time. Kohlmeyer says people have to take caution in anything unusual they see, "in the interest of public safety, we are asking the public to watch for and report any suspicious devices."

I will just say that after almost twenty years in the news industry, fairly busy years at that, I have never seen anything of this magnitude happen in a community the size of Salem. Residents are well advised if they take the guidance from police to be extremely alert and to notify them immediately if you see anything out of the norm.

The first incident happened at 11:53 AM Thursday at Salem Hospital, which is located at 555 Winter St SE.

Kohlmeyer says a visitor to the hospital found a pipe bomb under her car when she returned to the parking structure. "The Salem Police Bomb Squad responded and rendered the device safe. There was no evacuation, however access to the parking structure was restricted for about two hours."

At 12:15 PM, another reported bomb was located at the Roth's IGA store at 702 Lancaster Dr NE. A pipe bomb was found in the store's parking lot. The Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad responded and dealt with that device. The suspected explosive was detonated, shaking the walls and windows of buildings that are close by.

A third suspected bomb was found by a motorist at 5:31 PM in an intersection next to 6100 Woodside Drive SE. In this case, the pipe bomb was found laying in the roadway. The Salem Police Bomb Squad responded to that incident and dealt with that device.

Then at 7:45 PM, Dallas Police were notified of a suspected device at the TYCO Electronics plant, located at 1270 Monmouth Cutoff Road. A pipe bomb was found on a vehicle in the factory's parking lot. Dallas Police and the Oregon State Bomb Squad responded and dealt with that device.

A pipe bomb can be constructed from a number of components but generally they are made of pipe, either iron or plastic and will generally have end caps in place. These may be taped on, glued on or threaded in place. Sometimes they will have wires or a fuse of some sort visible. Anyone who sees such a device is asked to stay away from it and call 911.

Kohlmeyer says to please remember to NOT pick up any suspicious device that you may encounter. "It has not been determined at this time whether these incidents are connected, however a joint criminal investigation in being conducted involving several different local, state and federal agencies."

He says the agencies participating in the investigation are the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the Dallas Police Department, Oregon State Police, the FBI, the ATF and the Salem Police Department.

A hot line number has been established for anyone with information on any of these devices to call. That number is 1-888-ATF-Bomb (1-888-283-2662). Or locally, Salem Police Detective Corporal Jake Burke can be reached at 503-588-6050, extension 7163.

This story was originally published August 11th, 2006


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