The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the retrieval of 704 pounds of dynamite and 400 blasting caps. Blasting caps are typically used to trigger explosives, so add that to such a huge amount of explosives, and the ATF has every reason to be concerned that the stolen explosives aren’t used to harm Americans.
The Washington Post reported ATF agents had locked away the explosives in a truck trailer on Friday evening at Gregory General Contracting Company located in Pennsylvania.
When the agents came back Monday morning, the lock on the trailer has been popped open and the contents inside were missing. ATF said 16 cases of dynamite were stolen, each of them weighing 40 pounds.
Donald Robinson, a senior agent in charge of retrieving the stolen explosives, estimated that this was not an in and out kind of job. “It wasn’t one or two minutes on scene,” Robinson said. “It took a bit of time to get this stuff out.”
It should come as no surprise, ATF has announced that they are launching an investigation into the stolen explosives, according to Fox News.
“The ATF, along with our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe and that those who violate federal explosive laws are held accountable,” Robinson said. “We are asking for the public’s help in our effort to apprehend and convict those responsible.”
WGLA, a Pennsylvania news station, reported 30 to 40 ATF agents are currently searching the Susquehanna Valley, a location not far from where the explosives were stolen.
Agents do not know when or how the explosives were stolen. Helicopters have been canvassing the ever-changing landscape below in hopes of finding certain points of interest that ground agents could further investigate.
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly working with ATF in case the stolen explosives were taken to plan a potential terrorist attack.
The Black Market is also another point of interest to federal agents as large amounts of explosives can easily be sold to other countries to further their own individual agendas.
“We’ve only seen 15 to 20 thefts of explosives across the country a year. So, luckily, it is fairly unusual. This is a large theft though that we are obviously concerned about,” Robinson said.
Initially, ATF offered $10,000 for information regarding the explosives, but they quickly doubled the amount to $20,000 the next day.