I missed this story but it happened about five days ago. Fertilizer like this is a key ingredient in homemade bomb making.
Approximately 1,000 pounds of high-grade nitrate fertilizer was taken from Greens Keepers on Gann Boulevard in Tuscumbia. The company handles fertilization and weed control for residential and commercial lawns. The owner, John Wagner, says he’s been in business for twelve years and nothing like this has ever happened.
“It’s very unusual,” says Wagner. “It was a very big shock to walk in at 7:00 a.m. and see all this gone.”
Sometime early Thursday morning, burglars broke in the business. First, they tried to bust through this glass window in the front of the building. When that didn’t work, police say the crooks pried open the side door.
“It appears that 25 to 30 bags of high-grade nitrate fertilizer was taken off the premises,” explains Wagner.
The thieves stacked the bags of fertilizer onto one of the company trucks, attached a trailer to the back, and loaded a lawn mower on it. The crooks also rummaged through the office – grabbing two computers, an iPod, and a cordless phone.
The stolen property is valued at several thousand dollars. For Wagner, that’s not the most unsettling part.
“The cost of the fertilizer is not the issue, it’s the quantity and the potential for bad guys,” explains Wagner. ”
Wagner worries that having the large amount of fertilizer in the wrong hands could lead to something very dangerous.
“It could potentially be made into a bomb,” says Wagner.
Tuscumbia police say as the burglars were driving off, the trailer, lawn mower, and some fertilizer fell off somewhere on King Street. Shortly after that, investigators say the burglars abandoned the truck on Sterling Boulevard.
The truck and trailer were returned to Greens Keepers. Police are still on the hunt for the fertilizer and the people responsible for taking it.
Right now, the Tuscumbia Police Department does not have any suspects and is asking for the public’s help to develop some leads. If you have any information about the crime or know where the fertilizer may be, call the Shoals Area CrimeStoppers at (256) 386 – 8685.