Police arrest antique bomb hoarder

After an almost seven-week long manhunt, police in Liepāja arrested a man suspected of illegally collecting and storing hundreds of dangerous historic explosive devices at a cooperative garage park in Riga.

The man, born in 1988, had been on the run from law enforcement authorities, changing addresses across Latvia since his treacherous trove of World War II munitions and firing weapons was discovered on July 25.

According to his neighbors in the garage park, who were completely unaware of his antique bomb-gathering proclivities, the man went by the name Vadim and was a loner who showed up to rent his garage space around six years ago.

State Police spokesman Dairis Anučins told Latvian Radio that specially assigned police patrols acted on a tip and detained the man on the street in Liepaja on September 14. He has been handed off to officers in the Riga police precinct of Ķengarags where he currently remains in custody.

Anučins explained the case was still under preparation for submission to criminal prosecutors.

“It’s fairly certain that this was the only place he was keeping the unexploded shells. His motives are not entirely clear. However it is believed it was something of a hobby for him, this collecting activity. Of course the investigation will reveal his intentions more thoroughly,” the police representative said.

If convicted, Vadim could face a maximum prison term of three years for his very risky undertaking.

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