Webster City police seize explosives

WEBSTER CITY – Webster City Police detained a juvenile on Sunday after learning he may have an explosive or an incendiary device.

Police learned this after they were dispatched to 930 Third St. to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance.

“The juvenile had a device in one hand and a lighter in the other,” Officer Brandon Pritchard said.

Pritchard said he could not elaborate on the type of explosive the juvenile allegedly had.

“A parent advised that there was another explosive,” Pritchard said. Other explosives were at another home.

The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office seized the devices from 930 Third St. and 841 Bank St. for disposal.

Pritchard said the juvenile’s parents are divorced, which is why there are two different homes where explosives were seized.

“They were improvised explosive devices,” State Fire Marshal David Linkletter said.

The explosives were destroyed Sunday evening, Linkletter said.

“We didn’t feel it would be a good idea to be transporting them,” he said. “We found a remote location relatively close and took care of it last (Sunday) night.”

Capt. Brandon Hayes, of the Webster City Fire Department, said about five devices which were the size and shape of a dry-erase marker, and another device which he estimated to be between the size of a walnut and a plum, were found.

No injuries were reported from the seizure of the homemade explosive devices. Linkletter said such devices always pose a danger as there is no standard to which they are made. That’s why he and others with the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office are called to such situations in communities that don’t have bomb squads.

“Whenever you’re dealing with these types of materials, there’s a danger, especially when they’re homemade,” Linkletter said.

The juvenile who was detained was taken to the Van Diest Medical Center for a mental evaluation.

The juvenile, whom police have not identified, has not been charged at this point.

“Criminal charges will be pending,” Pritchard said.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Webster City Police Department was assisted by the Webster City Fire Department, the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office, Arson and Explosives Bureau and the Hamilton County Attorney’s office.