Stolen police explosives at Sky Harbor worry travelers

PHOENIX - Travelers at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix say they can't believe police would lose their own explosives at the state's busiest airport.

Aside from basic information in news releases , the Phoenix Police Department hasn't said much regarding the incident, but did say the Cast Booster explosive devices were used as bomb training tools on Friday.

Before the training was over, officers say someone stole the explosives.

The department has not said how they lost track of the dangerous materials or who may have taken them.

"This is a team, presumably with a specialization to come out here and ensure that it's safe [from explosives]," traveler Barry Kotler said. "It doesn't exactly fill you with confidence."

The materials were missing for days until Monday morning. Officers say a random Phoenix driver spotted the Cast Boosters in a lunchbox cooler that police originally had placed them in.

The devices were found near the intersection of 19th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road, miles away from the airport.

A bomb disposal team retrieved the explosive devices.

Cast Boosters are regularly used in mining operations. Bomb technicians will often pair them with a large amount of other explosive materials to create enormous blasts capable of moving mountains.

Phoenix Police officers were reportedly using the two half-pound devices to conduct a training exercise with canines assigned to the airport.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just days away, the theft is a huge concern to airline passengers ABC15 spoke with.

"It really gives you pause because you are concerned about actual terrorists building explosives to use against us, and now you hear the police department has actually lost some," traveler Renee Kotler said.

"Now the terrorists can get [explosives] for free," Barry Kotler joked.

The Phoenix Police Department refused multiple requests to comment further on the situation. They will not say why they used live explosives, or how they were stolen. The department says they are investigating.

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