Arrest of man with pipe bombs in Myrtle Beach leads police to second suspect

akelley@thesunnews.comMay 1, 2013 

— Myrtle Beach police on Wednesday made a second arrest related to pipe bombs that were found on a man late Monday night.

Police arrested Robin Scott Peterman, 55, Wednesday after suspicious devices were found in his Chester Street home, said Capt. David Knipes with Myrtle Beach.

His arrest comes a day after police arrested Mark Victor Powell, who was found with explosives while walking near 5th Avenue North and Chester Street Monday night, according to an incident report.

Powell and Peterman both are charged with possessing, manufacturing or transport of a destructive device.

It’s not clear how the two men know each other, but Powell told police he got the devices from Peterman, according to an arrest warrant obtained by The Sun News.

Police aren’t sure if either of the men had any plans for the devices, but are continuing to investigate. The State Law Enforcement Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also have been notified, Knipes said.

Powell’s arrest Monday was at least the second time in two weeks the Horry County bomb squad had responded to a threat from a potential explosive device since awareness was raised following the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Police on April 16 investigated a suspicious package, later deemed benign, in a vehicle on U.S. 501 near S.C. 31.

Myrtle Beach police said PVC end caps with fuses sticking out through drilled holes, were found during a search of Peterman’s house, according to an arrest warrant. Police also found what appeared to be gunpowder in a container, the warrant said.

On Monday, an officer who recognized 34-year-old Powell as a wanted person stopped him and confirmed he was wanted on a charge of failure to appear in court. While the officer was arresting Powell, two pipe bombs were found.

The bombs in Powell’s possession were described as two PVC pipes, approximately six inches long, with end caps and a fuse sticking out of one of them and containing some type of explosive substance.

Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler said those devices were detonated at the scene.

Powell told police he got the devices from Peterman.

Knipes said the case remains open and police will continue to investigate the incident. Peterman was being interviewed by police Wednesday afternoon and Knipes said police will follow up on any leads that may come out of that interview.

He said Myrtle Beach police response hasn’t changed in light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon and that officers will continue to investigate all suspicious devices as they always have.

“It would be the same response on our part concerning the explosive,” Knipes said. “When we see something as suspicious that could be explosives we respond the same way by securing the area and calling the bomb squad.”

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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