BATH, Maine — Police probing complaints of gunfire discovered a pyrotechnic pistol stolen from the city was allegedly being used to make crude bombs.
A 15-year-old boy was summoned on charges of theft and criminal use of explosives in connection with the incident.
“There is no evidence that the boy made the devices to hurt anyone,” Bath police Lt. Stanley Cielinski said. “It appeared more like he was involved in some dangerous experimenting.”
A Willow Street resident reported hearing gunshots Monday afternoon.
Cielinski said police investigated and found the noise was coming from a pyrotechnic pistol used to scare seagulls away from the landfill that had been stolen from the Public Works Department.
Sgt. Dan Couture charged a 15-year-old Bath male with theft on Feb. 4, alleging he stole the pistols, blank caps and pyrotechnic cartridges from the city.
“It appears the pistols and related items were taken over a period of time,” Cielinski said. “The 15-year-old had been suspected of using fireworks in the past.
“During one of these firework complaints, Sgt. Couture noticed he had a blank cap. At the time, the pyrotechnic pistols had not been reported stolen. So the officer was not familiar with the uncommon pyrotechnic equipment.”
Cielinski said Couture later was able to link the blank cap back to the 15-year-old.
“The boy had been shooting the pyrotechnic gun around Bath for several months,” Cielinski said. “One of the areas he commonly used to fire the gun was on property located near the High Street/North Street intersection [adjacent to Willow Street].”
On Feb. 6, Bath police Officer Rick Ross learned the same boy used some flash type powder from several of the pyrotechnic cartridges to make two small homemade explosive devices, Cielinski said.
The device was recovered from the boy’s bedroom and examined by Maine State Police explosive technicians, Cielinski said.
The case remains under investigation.