VICTOR, MT-- A $5,000 reward is being offered after approximately 285 pounds of high explosives were taken from a bunker near Victor Montana.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), reports the theft happened sometime between approximately March 15 and April after someone forced their way into an explosives storage facility operated by Ajax Contracting Inc. west of Victor.
Officials say in a news release that Ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO), explosive boosters and dynamite were taken.
"The theft of explosives is a very serious crime and a top investigative priority for ATF", said Ken Bray, Resident Agent in Charge of ATF in Montana. "We are asking for the public's help in our effort to apprehend and convict those responsible. We are confident that someone can help identify a suspect and we encourage them to call us."
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman added that, "locating these explosives is imperative to the safety of the citizens of Ravalli County and elsewhere. The Sheriff's Office is working closely with ATF to resolve this case as soon and safely as possible".
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the ATF hotline at 1.888.283.2662, or the local Missoula office at (406) 721.2611. Calls can also be made to the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office at (406) 363.3033, and anonymous tips can be received by Crimestoppers at (406) 363.0062.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of the explosives and to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft.
The release notes that stealing explosives and possession of stolen explosives is a federal crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.