DIXON – Although they have no leads on its origins, authorities are speculating that the pipe bomb found behind Sauk Valley Community College Thursday may have been built to stun fish.
"Historically we have arrested people in the past that light those things and throw them in the water," said Sgt. Robert Frazier, acting region commander of the state Department of Natural Resources. "They explode, which causes the fish to float up to the surface. But in this case it was floating, so I don't know really what the purpose of it was – if it was for that or if it was some kid who was screwing around.
"I'm just glad we were able to find it and get it diffused safely."
The IDNR and Lee County Sheriff's Department retrieved the bomb from the Rock River behind the college, where a man had spotted it and called sheriff's deputies.
The bomb, made of PVC pipe, was was found far enough away from the buildings that it didn't present any threat, Sheriff John Varga said. It was safely detonated by the Winnebago County bomb squad.
Anyone with information on its origins can call the sheriff's department at 815-288-6631.