An explosives expert suspects the apparent pipe bomb left on SkyTrain tracks near Scott Road in Surrey, B.C., might have been a prank, but police are still trying to determine who put the device there and if there’s any connection to a number of other suspicious items found since then.
Ron Elliott, vice-president of Pacific Blasting and Demolition Ltd., of Burnaby, looked at photos of the device found Friday and said it’s hard to say how much danger it posed.
"My guess is this is a bit of a prank going on here,” Elliott said. “It appears to be, perhaps, a small pipe bomb attached to what looks like a small Coleman camping-style propane cylinder. We don't really know what was in the pipe bomb, if it was really a pipe bomb."
It seems the incidents since then are a result of heightened vigilance and not a pattern of pranks being played on the public.
Later on Friday, someone spotted some dodgy looking PVC pipe at the Metrotown SkyTrain station and a metal can containing tar was found at the Gilmore station.
A handbag containing a wristwatch prompted a shutdown at the Main Street station on Saturday.
On Monday night, a serious incident unfolded when an apparent pipe bomb was found and detonated outside a Tsawwassen residence.
Later, a metal covered with black tape at the New Westminster station prompted another visit from the bomb squad.
Police have not announced any arrests or described any suspects yet.
Psychologist Joti Samra says most of the suspicious discoveries could be the result of people being more aware of things around them because of worry.
"Certainly, all of us as public citizens should be aware,” said Samra.
"[In] this kind of circumstance, where it's attention and vigilance from the average person, that always needs to be an element of how conduct ourselves. I don't think there's any big reason for fear. We know that the base rate of copycat crimes is very, very low.”