Five days after a still-unknown explosive device ripped through a newspaper vending box and damaged a local restaurant. Gloucester Police say they have not had a single tipster come forward — despite a reward of up to $5,000 being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Lt. Kathy Auld, Gloucester's chief of detectives, said Thursday she's "a little surprised" that no one has come forward regarding the explosion, which sent metal flying through the window of Mamie's Kitchen on Pleasant Street and damaged a door and window as well.
Auld said she would have thought the perpetrator would have, by now, bragged about the blast to someone who hopefully would call police.
Gloucester Detective police Steve Mizzoni, who's handling the case, said he hasn't heard anything substantial yet, either, and that police have not determined the precise type of explosive used in the blast, except to say that it was that it was far more powerful than fireworks.
Mizzoni said that someone belatedly reported an explosion in a dumpster at the Heights of Cape Ann on Monday, saying that something in it blew up there early Sunday morning, about a half hour before the Pleasant Street explosion. But, by the time police learned of that incident, the Heights had emptied and repaired the dumpster.
"We've been talking to a lot of people, but we haven't gotten anywhere," Mizzoni said.
A reward is standard practice for a case like this, said Laurie Anderson, spokeswoman with the State Fire Marshal's office. The state police bomb squad reports to that office.
"Any arson of any type, whether it's a building, a car, or what happened with the newspaper box, triggers a reward from (the state's) arson watch reward program," Anderson said.
According to Gloucester Police, the vending box exploded early Sunday morning.
At 4:02 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a report of broken glass at Mamie's Kitchen at the corner of Pleasant and Liberty streets. There, officers confirmed that a device had blown up the Gloucester Daily Times' large metal vending box on the sidewalk. No one was injured or around when the device exploded, according to police.
State police aren't conducting any part of the active investigation, said Anderson. But, the state police bomb squad is continuing to analyze what's left of the box, said Auld, and will report back to the Gloucester Police when they identify the type of device that caused the explosion.
While police have confirmed that the explosive was placed inside the box, Auld said, police still don't know what exploded.
Whatever the explosive was, Auld said, it wasn't targeting anyone and was probably a random incident.
"We can't find any reason to target the restaurant, or even the landlord," Auld said, "and it wasn't close enough to target the church," referring to St. Ann's, which sits across the street.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.