A metal “pipe bomb” was set off and damaged a Thurmont police vehicle early Wednesday morning, according to the department.
Residents began calling 911 at about 12:30 a.m. in the area of Clark Avenue after hearing what sounded like an explosion, according to a press release issued at 9 a.m. Wednesday. A female resident noticed a Thurmont police vehicle parked nearby was damaged and alerted authorities, who eventually concluded that an explosive device of some kind had been detonated, said Thurmont police Chief Greg Eyler.
“One of my officers went to his residence and parked his cruiser on the street as he usually does at about midnight and then around 12:30 one of the neighbors heard a big explosion,” Eyler said. “… It looked like a metal pipe bomb was detonated on the hood and the windshield of the cruiser.”
No one was injured by the explosion and Thurmont Police were receiving assistance from the Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office, the county sheriff’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Eyler said.
Remnants of the explosive device were recovered from the vehicle, a marked Chevrolet Tahoe, and authorities are still trying to determine what the device was composed of, Eyler said.
“We’ll be checking numerous hardware stores to maybe see where the metal pipe was purchased from … we’re just trying to get everything together,” Eyler said. “It’s still a very preliminary investigation at this point.”
Multiple ATF agents, including an explosives enforcement officer, a certified explosives specialist and a special agent K-9 handler responded to the scene early Wednesday, said David Cheplak, a public information officer for the ATF’s Baltimore field office.
“We’re going to provide all the resources that we have, speaking in generalities we have our national laboratory relatively close by in Beltsville, Maryland,” Cheplak said. “So we’ll be able to take any evidence that may be available and put that in the hands of our experts that work these types of incidents.”
Eyler confirmed that evidence collected from the scene was being taken to the ATF laboratory in Beltsville for further analysis.
Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area or who can help police with the investigation was asked to call the Thurmont Police Department at 301-271-0905.
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