Police investigate suspicious flashlights found at Fountain Hills Goodwill

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has lifted an evacuation order on a Fountain Hills Goodwill store after they confirmed suspicious flashlights that had been donated were not explosive.

According to Sheriff's department spokesman Chris Hegstrom, officials evacuated the store near Palisades Boulevard and La Montana Drive to investigate three flashlights, including a 6-volt, which is the kind of flashlight that has been under investigation by the federal and local authorities.

"I was told to not accept any flashlights," said Edgar Olave, the Goodwill employee who found the flashlights. "I didn't see the guy who dropped them off."

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the U.S . Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for rigging flashlights that exploded in Phoenix and Glendale.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Olave, who admitted he was worried the flashlights may explode.

The first rigged flashlight detonated May 24 at a Salvation Army warehouse in Phoenix, slightly injuring two workers.

Police said someone also left standard 6-volt yellow flashlights packed with explosives outside two Glendale businesses. The persons who picked up the devices suffered minor injuries in both incidents.

The ATF is also warning residents who may come across an unfamiliar flashlight to call police.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio called on the person responsible for the flashlight bombs to come forward and turn themselves in.

"Do the right thing," said Sheriff Arpaio. "Say 'I'm sorry, it was a prank. Let the citizens of this county be more relaxed and not worry about this."


 

 
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