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Maryland man charged after stealing blasting caps from employer

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD—A Maryland man has been charged with multiple counts of manufacturing and possessing destructive devices within his home after investigators concluded he had stolen them from his employer.

Stephen K. Thompson, 48, was arrested on Monday after Thompson’s estranged wife reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad that she found suspicious items in their home’s basement. Bomb technicians responded and located the devices, and concluded they were blasting caps.

Blasting caps are highly sensitive devices used with explosives to initiate controlled detonations for construction, mining, and demolition. However, these devices pose an imminent threat to public safety, property, and the environment in the wrong hands. The potential consequences of their illicit use can be catastrophic, leading to severe injuries, loss of life, and extensive property damage.

Investigators concluded that Thompson had stolen them from his employer, Rust-Oleum, who legally use them within their fire suppression system.

“The illegal possession and use of blasting caps are not only against the law but also jeopardize the safety of our citizens,” said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

Thompson was charged with eight counts of manufacturing and possessing an explosive device, one count of possessing explosives without a license, and theft between $1,500-$25,000.

“The quick recognition of the potential hazard with these devices and her decision to immediately contact local authorities was absolutely appropriate in this incident,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “This serves as a positive reminder to all members of the public of the National message, “See Something, Say Something.” Geraci said.

Thompson is currently being held at Washington County Detention Center without bond.

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