Pipe bomb found, detonated in residential neighborhood

March 12, 2013 • Local News

State bomb experts de[auth] tonated a pipe bomb discovered in a residential neighborhood Friday night.

A resident found what looked like an explosive pipe near the corner of Lusk Drive and Washington Avenue and called Roswell Police Department’s emergency dispatch center. According to police spokeswoman Sabrina Morales, officers were dispatched at 3:30 p.m.

“We went out there initially in response,” Morales said.

Once the device was identified as a bomb, Roswell officers notified New Mexico State Police, who dispatched its bomb squad, Morales said.

State Police Sgt. Jay Blakeney from the NMSP Roswell office said two bomb experts were dispatched to “take care of it.”

No one was injured in the explosion. The incident was wrapped up by 5 p.m., according to Roswell Police reports.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives out of Las Cruces was also notified and took over as lead agency for the investigation.

The device was detonated at the location and the bomb squad “rendered it safe,” according to Agent Raphael Martinez, resident agent in charge from the ATF.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Martinez said. “We are working closely with the state police.”

Investigators are still looking into where the device was constructed and if it was homemade, he said.

“Each one is unique,” Martinez said.

Martinez declined to say whether the bomb was near any property. The neighborhood is lined with manufactured homes situated next to an open field.

Officials declined to speculate whether the device was the latest attempt at another arson. Roswell has seen several cases of suspected arson in the past few months.

Martinez said this incident does not appear to be connected to the latest outbreak of residential fires.

“I can’t go into whether this happens often,” he said. “But it is not part of arson to my knowledge.”

Police suspect arson in a rash of house fires along the 1400 block of South Mulberry Avenue in February and possibly in a travel trailer blaze on East Jefferson Street on March 3, where fire investigators found a broken beer bottle with a charred cloth in it and accelerants on top of the trailer. Multiple other fires in dumpsters and other activity was been reported.

Anyone with information about suspicious activity is asked to call police immediately at 624-6770, fire investigators at 624-3830, or Crime Stoppers at 888-594-TIPS (8477).

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