Originally Published: June 2, 2003 6:10 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY –Authorities detonated a pipe bomb Tuesday after the staff of a Prescott Valley towing company found it in a vehicle that had been sitting in their yard for some time.
Prescott Valley Police Det. Brandon Bonney said personnel of Priority Towing and Recovery Inc. were going through the vehicle, inventorying its contents.
They opened up a package, which they believed contained a tool, and discovered a device that appeared to be a pipe bomb.
"They called police dispatch and we responded," Bonney said, adding that officers cleared and secured the area around the bomb at about 6 p.m.
He said his department asked for help from the Department of Public Safety bomb squad and an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) team.
"They took an assessment of the device by using some small explosives and other tools," he said. "They were able to cause detonation to render the device safe. We were able to take pieces into evidence and they have been sent to a crime lab for further analysis."
Bonney said police have a lead on a suspect, but plan to interview a few people before they can be certain who put the bomb in the car.
"Due to the fact that it may have been there for some time, I'm not really open at giving the name at this time because it is still under investigation," he said, adding that a previous owner of the vehicle is under investigation. "We do not know what the motive was for actually having it in there."
He said that the towing company recently took ownership of the vehicle because of outstanding fees.
Finding pipe bombs is not that uncommon, Bonney said.
"They are simple thing to make," he said, adding that any type of pipe with two end caps can become a pipe bomb. "It could be drilled for a fuse or it can be filled with black powder or some other explosive type of powder. Unfortunately, you can look it up on the Internet and, with a trip to a hardware store, you can have it in a short period of time."