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Police: Exploding chemical bomb at Wichita Wal-Mart may have been a diversion tactic for theft

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at 9:35 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at 4:29 p.m.

Police think the homemade chemical bomb that exploded Thursday inside a Wichita Wal-Mart was used as a diversion tactic for a theft in another part of the store, Sgt. Jerry Quick said.

No one was injured after a 20-ounce bottle filled with an unknown liquid and aluminum foil exploded shortly after 9 a.m. at the Wal-Mart, 6110 W. Kellogg, near Dugan. Store employees thought at first there were BBs inside the bottle but they turned out to be wadded-up pieces of aluminum foil to create the chemical reaction, Quick said.

The device was put on a shelf, where it exploded. No employees or customers were in the area at the time. There was some damage to the shelf and floor, Quick said.

After police reviewed the store’s surveillance tape, they identified two possible suspects – one man, one woman. Police were still looking for the two people late Thursday afternoon, Quick said.

“We think they were using it as a diversion tactic for a theft in another part of the store,” he said. It’s not known whether that theft was carried out.

The store was not closed or evacuated after the explosion.

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