ATLANTA — Federal investigators in Georgia are searching for clues to the theft of a quarter-ton of explosives similar to the volatile mixture used in the Oklahoma City bombing last April, officials said Tuesday.
Thieves cut through two fences on the grounds of a commercial explosives company in the Atlanta suburb of Norcross during the weekend and made off with 11 50-pound bags of ANFO, which consists of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. They also stole several hundred blasting caps.
"That amount of explosives could kill or injure people and cause a large amount of damage to a structure," said Robert Browning, Atlanta spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The ATF says there has since been a nationwide increase in the theft of ammonium nitrate. Accurate statistics are not available because ammonium nitrate is a fertilizer and its theft is not subject to federal reporting requirements.