A possible bomb was found at the Alamo Sinclair Station and Great Basin Foods June 19. The device was found attached to a toilet in the men’s restroom at the grocery store by one of the employees doing a regular scheduled cleaning.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said, “A round shape, similar to a racquetball, or hand grenade, wrapped in black electrical tape that appeared to have short fuse in it.”
The object was found about 7:25 p.m. attached to the outside of one of the toilet bowls, near the base, in the men’s room.
Lee said another employee removed the object threw it outside in the rear parking lot by the dumpsters.
Deputy Mike Ray, who happened to be in the store at the time, said he was told by the employees what they had done and asked if should it be looked at more closely.
After investigating, Ray determined there might be a danger and decided to call the Las Vegas Police.
In the meantime, Ray and other deputies blocked off traffic to the rear of the store, and cleared away all the commercial vehicles that often park in that area.
However, the store was not closed and after talking with Las Vegas Police, was told not to close the store, not to alarm the customers, as the device was, by that time, a safe distance away, and just to “keep everyone away from it.” He said the device appeared to be homemade.
Eventually, the Las Vegas City Fire Department Bomb Squad responded with three units and an officer with the Metro Task Force was called in and arrived about 9:45 p.m.
Ray said the bomb squad tried twice to destroy the item with a water cannon, but it did not explode. Metro then used their own equipment and blew it up, which caused a loud boom throughout the Alamo downtown area about 12:45 a.m.
Lee said from what Metro had seen, they felt it was a real bomb, however, the investigation is continuing. Ray said “From the way it was attached to the toilet, it was meant to do some sort of damage.”
The fragments were removed and will be analyzed in the lab for contents and possible fingerprints.
Lee said deputies evacuated the people in the Alamo RV Park living on the eastern side before the explosion. Some of the residents said they were told to even move their mobile homes, but said unhooking would just be too much of a bother, so deputies just moved all the people to the west side of the park.
He said Metro came back the next day to gather what more information they could, including surveillance tapes from Great Basin Foods.
There is no known motive for the incident.
Lee said this is the third time the bomb squad has come to Lincoln County in the past few months. The other two were this past spring with the discovery of some old, unused dynamite found stored in some of the closed mining sites in the Pioche area.
Ray said if anyone has any information they are asked to call the Sheriff Department dispatch number 775-962-5151 and you may remain anonymous.
He added if you see any suspicious devices anywhere, clear out the building and call 911.
In addition, he said, “In this day and age, we just don’t know. We may think such things will not happen in our little town, but we are not immune. We need to take these things seriously.”