Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit awaits dry weather to process pipe bomb-like device

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Sgt. Steve Collins, an explosive disposal officer with the Portland Police Bureau Bomb Squad walks back towards his vehicle after removing what appeared to be a small explosvie device on EM Watts Road Monday morning,  Jan. 8.  Scappoose Police Department was alerted to the object when a passerby saw it Monday morning. UPDATED 1/11/18: A suspected explosive device was discovered on EM Watts Road in Scappoose Monday morning, Jan. 8, prompting Scappoose Police Department to temporarily close the roadway and call the Portland Police Bureau bomb squad for assistance.

Police Chief Norm Miller said a pedestrian walking a dog discovered the object on the south side of EM Watts Road between 4th Street and Eggleston Lane on a small bridge, Monday morning.

Miller initially described the object as appearing to be some type of pipe bomb. The object was a black, cylindrical tube, about four inches long, with what looked like a fuse coming out of the top. No evacuations were ordered in the area, but officers closed the street to investigate. Officers searched the area for other devices, but did not find any.

Miller said he sent pictures of the device to PPB bomb squad prior to its arrival.

After arriving, Sgt. Steve Collins, an explosive disposal officer with the Metropolitan Explosives Disposal Unit, removed the device from the scene just after 10:40 a.m. The roadway was reopened at 10:52 a.m.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Sgt. Steve Collins picks up the object using a short-handled shovel before placing it in a large, black, padded bag.From its appearance and location on the bridge, Collins speculated the device was designed to make a loud noise, but not necessarily harm anyone.

"The one thing I'd like to stress is that there's no harm to the public, from what I'm seeing," Collins said.

Collins said MEDU will hold onto the device until it can be processed. When a device is processed, officers use remote techniques to take the device apart and inspect it. The MEDU reports back to the police agency conducting the investigation, in this case SPD, and provides court testimony regarding the contents of a device after a suspect is identified.

The processing is usually done outdoors. Because of poor weather, however, PPB has not yet been able to process the device removed from Scappoose.

SPD is still investigating the case, but has not identified any suspects at this time, Miller said.

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