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Explosives stolen from Walla Walla airport

Sat., Aug. 1, 2009

Feds lead joint investigation

WALLA WALLA – Federal, state and local police are seeking leads in the theft of a large amount of explosives.

The explosives, which include TNT, blasting cap boosters and black powder, were found missing Monday from an explosives storage magazine at the Walla Walla Regional Airport industrial park. The theft was discovered by Washington State Patrol troopers during a routine inspection.

Walla Walla County Sheriff Michael Humphreys said the explosives were apparently stolen sometime after July 23. The sheriff’s office has requested the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to lead the joint investigation.

“I’m asking that anyone with information relating to this theft please call the hot line number. We’re committed to following up on every lead,” he said.

The locked magazine held explosives stored by various law enforcement agencies and private parties.

The explosives are stable if properly stored and used, “but in the hands of untrained people they pose a significant public safety threat,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Champion.

Evidence recovered from the scene has been sent to the state laboratory. Authorities are also offering a $5,000 reward for information relating to the theft.

A toll-free number can be used to report information and all calls are confidential, Humphreys said.



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