Explosive Device Found in Truck of Vehicle Break-In Suspects

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ALTOONA, Iowa — The Des Moines Police Department’s Bomb Squad had to be called in Tuesday night to assist Altoona police after a suspicious device was found in the truck of men accused of breaking into vehicles.

Altoona police were called to the Ironwood Apartments at 2590 1st Ave. S around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday about people in a black Chevy Silverado who were breaking into vehicles. The caller said one man wearing a ski mask jumped into the truck, and another man and woman were already inside.

Officers stopped a truck matching that description leaving the area and found drugs and paraphernalia inside. They also found a “flashlight with a tube sticking out of it.” The bomb squad was called in because officers were suspicious it may be an explosive.

The bomb squad determined the device had gun powder in it and was loaded with shrapnel. The device was dismantled.

The driver of the truck, 31-year-old Christopher Maahs, was arrested and faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. The other male passenger, 38-year-old Jeremy Wyatt, was arrested and faces charges of carrying weapons, 5th degree theft, possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.

Both men are also charged with unauthorized possession of an offensive weapon – explosive device.

The female in the truck was not charged in the incident.

Maahs and Wyatt are being held in the Polk County Jail.

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