Crime

A shoplifter was caught with an explosive at Safeway. Police found more at his home

A 35-year-old man allegedly brought an “improvised explosive” with him while shoplifting at Richland’s Safeway.

Brandon J. Starkey of Richland was caught stealing at the store around 7 p.m. on Thursday, said police.

When officers searched him they found what appeared to be a small explosive device and along more bomb-making materials, said Sgt. Mike Harrison.

Officers got a search warrant and the Richland Bomb Squad and other officers found more suspicious devices along with guns and ammunition.

Starkey has previous convictions for possessing an incendiary device along with a hit-and-run. It’s believed that he isn’t allowed to have a gun.

He was booked into the Benton County jail on a 72-hour investigative hold for possessing an explosive device. He is being held on $50,000 bail.

There didn’t appear to be any threat to the public, Harrison said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.
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