Use of home-made explosives concerns Bendigo police

AN exploding aerosol device sparked a small fire in Rosalind Park yesterday, as fire crews warned there was a “concerning pattern” of home-made explosives emerging in Bendigo.

A small patch of grass behind the old police barracks was burnt in the fire about 10.20am.

Senior station officer Craig Houlahan said the fire was started by a home-made detonating device. 

“There’s a few of these devices we’ve actually located at fires,” he said. “They’re highly explosive and can easily go off.”

The incident came a day after the special operations bomb squad were called to detonate a home-made device in Huntly.

Leading Senior Constable Gary Boucher said the two incidents weren’t related but that police had investigated a number of similar items found around Bendigo.

“Unfortunately we get spates of these home-made devices turning up, particularly in the warmer weather,” he said.

“We want to encourage people not to touch them and report them to police.”

Mr Houlahan said the devices posed significant risks of exploding and sparking a fire or causing serious injury. 

“It might be seen as a prank but the consequences can be extremely high,” he said.

“There’s significant life risk in activating these devices. When an aerosol can explodes it will send shrapnel at high velocity.”

“We’re calling for public assistance to help catch offenders because we’re starting to get a bit of a concerning pattern.

“We need the public to be vigilant of any suspicious activities.”

The remnants of the home-made device detonated at Huntly on Wednesday will be forensically tested to determine if there is any DNA that can be investigated.

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