Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Explosive canisters used for paintball, says owner

By John Winters

The Newnan Times-Herald

Pending test results will determine whether Coweta County authorities file charges against the owner of two small explosive canisters left at a local car wash.

On Monday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's bomb unit destroyed the devices using a robot equipped with a water cannon. The canisters were similar in appearance to small pipe bombs.

"There are no charges at this time," said Maj. Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office. "We are awaiting lab results to see how much explosives were involved."

The major said the owner claimed the canisters were smoke bombs used in paintball games.

"It will all depend on the grade (of explosives)," Yarbrough said about whether authorities will charge the owner.

About 7 p.m. Sunday, a truck pulled into the Riptide Car Wash on Highway 34 East across from The Summit Healthplex. Employees removed the devices and other items from the bed of the truck before the truck went through the car wash.

However, the driver left before retrieving the canisters. Employees put the canisters in the office, assuming the driver would return.

Another employee on Monday morning noticed the canisters and pulled the tape off of one. He noticed a fuse, cotton padding and granular material and then contacted authorities.

The canisters were about five inches tall and two inches wide.

The sheriff's office notified the GBI bomb unit, which brought in a truck that remotely controls the robot used to remove and eventually destroy the devices.

Authorities found the owners, whom Yarbrough declined to name at this time, after reviewing security tapes at the car wash.

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