Bomb scare at Chandler apartment complex was real; pipe bomb found

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Police are searching for the person who built and planted a pipe bomb at a Chandler apartment complex.

Landscapers working at the complex near Alma School and Knox roads discovered a suspicious looking device, what appeared to be a pipe bomb, in the bushes Wednesday morning. The bushes were right next to a building that houses six garages across from several occupied apartments.

Those landscapers immediately called the police.

Detective Seth Tyler of the Chandler Police Department said the device was indeed an explosive and whoever made it knew exactly what he was doing.

The bomb squad from the Mesa Fire Department was called in to deal with the device, which Tyler described as a 4- to 6-inch length of galvanized pipe with caps on each side. It was about 1 inch in diameter and there was a fusing coming out of one end of the pipe.

“Whoever put this together, obviously knew how to put together an explosive device,” Tyler said. “They put it together in a manner that they didn't really want to conceal the fact that it was an explosive device. It looked like a pipe bomb and that's what it was.”

Four apartments were evacuated as a precaution.

“The device was placed in a manner to where it was rather well-contained,” Tyler said. “We didn’t have to evacuate a very large area.”

The bomb squad was able to safely disable the pipe bomb.

Officers scoured the area, but they did not find any other explosive devices.

Tyler said investigators have no suspect information and no leads at this time, nor do they know how long the pipe bomb had been in the bushes.

Tyler said the landscapers did exactly the right thing by not touching the device and calling the police to handle it.

"They got out of the way. They made sure that nobody else got near the device," he said. "They didn't try to move it and they called the police. That's something we ask people to do should they see something that looks suspicious to them."