70 pounds of high explosives stolen in Utah


(Michael McFall)  Utah investigators are offering a $5,000 reward for information about 70 pounds of high explosives that were stolen in Hildale.

The explosives — which detonate faster than the speed of sound, such as dynamite — were stolen from a storage facility in the Southern Utah town, said Michael Minichino, special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The ATF is investigating the theft in conjunction with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The owner of the explosives had an ATF license for them, and as part of that license, was required to make regular checks on the explosives and keep them in theft-resistant, bullet-resistant and weather-resistant storage. But when he checked on the explosives on Aug. 7, they were gone, and must have been taken sometime in the two to three weeks prior, Minichino said.

Minichino declined to specify what kind of storage space the explosives were kept in, except that it wasn’t in a home or ranch.

“The only lead we have right now is that a culprit unwittingly left behind a piece of evidence,” said Minichino, who declined to disclose what the evidence was. The special agent hopes that offering a reward will encourage a tipster to step forward who knows the undisclosed details about the theft, including the type of explosives.

Anyone with information can call the ATF at 888-ATF-BOMB, or the sheriff’s office at 435-634-5730.

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