The Douglas County bomb squad destroyed a pipe found along Rampart Range Road when authorities thought it could be a bomb.
Their suspicions turned out to be a false alarm but authorities opted to err on the side of caution, destroying the pipe with an explosive discharge, said Lt. Glenn Peitzmeier, spokesman, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“Not wanting to take any chances and not able to determine whether or not it was an explosive device, they went ahead and destroyed it right there,” Peitzmeier said. “We’ve had people make pipe bombs in the past, mainly kids looking online. It’s fun to do until someone gets hurt.”
The copper pipe was discovered around 1:45 p.m., July 23, by a department of health employee taking water samples in a ditch on the west side of Rampart Range Road about ¾ of a mile north of Waterton Canyon, Peitzmeier said.
The pipe was about a foot long and sealed off at both ends with a waxy substance, he said. The department of health employee initially thought the pipe was one used for soil samples but, on closer inspection, realized it did not fit the standard.
The bomb team responded and first used a water cannon to blast a stream of water at the pipe, which has the potential to disable a bomb device, Peitzmeier said.
The final step was to disable the device with an explosive discharge, at which time officials determined the pipe was not a bomb, Peitzmeier said.
“It was there for such a long time, it appeared to have been something that may be dropped out of a vehicle,” he said.
The pipe was far enough from a residential area that no homes were evacuated, but homeowners were notified and some opted to voluntarily leave their homes until the vicinity was cleared, Peitzmeier said.
Residents who come across a suspicious item are asked to refrain from touching the item, back away and call 911.
The sheriff’s office has not elevated its responsiveness in the wake of the July 20 shooting at the Century Aurora 16 theater and will always respond to a report of a suspicious item, Peitzmeier said.
“Everyone should be on alert for anything, always be aware of what’s going on around you,” he said. “Never make assumptions, you should always be alert, in my opinion.”