THURMONT, Md. (WJZ) — Fast food litter helped lead to the arrest of a Frederick County man accused of planting and detonating a pipe bomb on the hood of a Thurmont Police vehicle this week, authorities said.
The SUV was parked outside the officer’s residence about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday when the device exploded — causing damage to the front end of the vehicle, splintering the windshield and launching shrapnel into the officer’s occupied home, according to police.READ MORE: Now That Students Have Returned To The Classroom, One Question Remains: Are Children Safe?
No one was hurt.
Next to the vehicle investigators found a foot-long pipe covered with burnt black powder residue with duct tape and metal nails attached, part of an end cap that had blown off and a discarded bag of trash from Burger King with the receipt inside, police said.'I'm All About Ellicott City' Ellicott City Residents & Business Owners React To Number 10 Ranking On Money Magazine's 'Best Places To Live List'
Federal, state and local investigators were able to piece the suspect’s identity together using a description of a Toyota Highlander spotted by witnesses fleeing the scene and the receipt left behind, according to police.
The debit card had been used at Burger King and to buy black powder from a gun shop in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, police said. Surveillance video also showed the suspect buying a pipe and two end caps, which matched those found at the scene, from a Lowe’s in Waynesboro.
Just before 8 p.m. Friday evening, a Highlander was seen going through the drive-through at a Burger King in Frederick County. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Kyle Rutger Mueller, of Moser Road, was pulled over and taken into custody. Police said a subsequent raid of Mueller’s home uncovered additional items linking him to the bombing.
Mueller is charged with manufacturing a destructive device, use of a destructive device, malicious destruction of property and related charges.MORE NEWS: Audit Finds Electronic Tolls Overbilled Maryland Drivers
At a news briefing on Saturday afternoon, Thurmont Police Det. Jody Maybush told reporters the suspect acknowledged having an interest in explosives, but had no plans to specifically target a police vehicle.