Chesterton Tribune



Liberty resident charged with possession of pipe bomb on Saturday

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A Liberty Township resident was arrested Saturday on a charge of possession of a destructive device, after a pipe bomb was found in her vehicle in Center Township, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

Katrina Louise Franzen, 32, of 658 N. Calumet Ave., was arrested on that charge.

The PCSP said that the pipe bomb is not believed to be related to the explosion last week of a pipe bomb at the East Chicago post office.

According to police, at 11:50 a.m. an officer was dispatched to the area of Woodruft Drive and Division Road after a citizen reported a possible traffic accident. On his arrival, Officer Robert Gosbin observed a 2011 Hyundai passenger vehicle parked on the roadway with rear-end damage, in the driver’s seat of which he found Franzen asleep, police said.

Gosbin determined that the damage to the vehicle was not fresh as well as that Franzen’s driver’s license was suspended, police said. He then obtained consent from Franzen to search the vehicle, where he found a box on the passenger’s side floor containing a pipe bomb with a fuse attached, police said.

A PCSP Bomb Squad technician, Officer Derek Cadwell, responded to the scene, confirmed that the device was a pipe bomb, and requested that the Bomb Squad be paged out to render the device safe.

“Residents in the immediate area were evacuated and the remaining residents were advised to stay inside their residences until the device could be rendered safe and the area cleared,” police said. “The roadway was also shut down for a short period of time.”

The device was made safe at approximately 1:50 p.m.

Franzen, for her part, advised that the device--which she said belonged to a previous boyfriend--had been in her vehicle for the last two weeks and that she’d been planning “to take it to a friend to make it safe,” police said.

Franzen also advised that, after dropping a friend off at work, she’d “been driving around trying to clear her head, as she had a headache,” police said. “She subsequently parked on Woodruft Drive at Division Road and fell asleep.”

“Detectives and Bomb Squad technicians who interviewed Franzen determined that there was no further threat to the public and although this was a pipe bomb as well, this incident is not related to the recent East Chicago pipe bomb explosion,” police said.

“We thank the individual who observed the suspicious vehicle for calling and making authorities aware so we could check it out,” Sheriff Dave Reynolds said. “We encourage everyone to call your local police when you observe suspicious activity.”

Possession of a destructive device is a Level 5 felony punishable by a term of one to six years.


Posted 9/11/2017




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