Four homemade explosive devices that look like pipe bombs but failed to detonate were discovered in scattered areas of Maplewood in recent days, according to Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell.
Two devices were in the area of the 1600 block of County Road C, one found on March 26 and another on March 29, Schnell said. Two more were discovered Monday at Four Seasons Park -- one near a trail, and another about 30 yards away near the road, according to Schnell.
The devices, about three to four inches in length, are made of white PCV plastic pipes, capped on both ends with an ignition wick at one end. The wicks had all been lit, and looked like someone had failed attempts to detonate them, Schnell said.
They were not placed in locations likely to hurt people or damage property if they did detonate, he said. They were also not devices that could be remotely detonated.
"The reality is, the danger probably is greater for those building these devices, than it is for somebody who had come upon them," Schnell said. "I certainly don't want to minimize the potential for danger [to the public]. But using a wick and those sorts of things, and how quickly those wicks can burn down -- the danger can actually be greatest for those who are building them."
The first two were destroyed by the bomb squad at the scene, and the second two were taken for investigation, he said. Investigators are following up on leads and trying to figure out the motive behind them.
The devices were discovered by passersby who called police.
"We have two primary objectives. First, we want this to stop," Schnell said. "Second, we really would like to know the motive ... is this a fascination, is this just to see what the capabilities are, or is there some type of intention? The one thing that makes us a little less concerned is the fact that there has not been any type of targeting."