Westminster police question man about possible explosive device at apartment complex

Bomb squad robot examines man's minivan

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Westminster police are questioning a man about a possible explosive device found at an apartment complex that forced the evacuation of three buildings for 2 1/2 hours on Friday afternoon.

A woman who lives in the Village of Greenbriar Apartments, located at 8290 Federal Blvd., alerted authorities that she was concerned about a device that a man who was staying with her had left behind, Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso said.

The woman had dropped her child off at school and alerted school authorities to the device in Building 19, Materasso said.

Police responded and evacuated at least five buildings at the Village of Greenbriar Apartments.

The bomb squad sent a robot into the unit in question, allowing them to examine the device remotely, Materasso said.  Bomb squad technicians said the device didn't appear to be a completed explosive, but it was still a concern.

Around 1:50 p.m., the bomb squad reportedly determined the items in the apartment were not an bomb.

Police lifted evacuations for all buildings at the Village of Greenbriar Apartments shortly thereafter.

However, evacuations remained a little while longer for Cobblestone Village, a townhouse complex several blocks away at 81st Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

At that intersection, police had stopped the man as he was driving away in a  white Honda Odyssey minivan.

The Adams County Bomb Squad used a robot camera  to peer inside the van's windows to see if there were potential explosive devices inside, Materasso said. 

Authorities parked two big dump trucks nose-to-nose in front of the white van, possibly to shield nearby homes and vehicle traffic in case of an explosion.

Then around 3:45 p.m. a bag was removed from the vehicle and a water cannon was used on the bag to make sure there was no explosive inside, Materasso said. The scene was cleared and all residents at Cobblestone were allowed back home.

Materasso had called the man a suspect, but added he has not been arrested. He has not been identified.

Materasso said certain items found in this investigation may not be illegal, but police are concerned due to the man’s criminal history involving explosives. 

Police closed Federal Boulevard in both directions from 80th to 82nd avenues for several hours during the investigation.

Federal has since been reopened.

A precautionary lockout at Metz Elementary and Ranum Middle School was lifted at about 12:45 p.m.

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