Police relieved at silence of pipeline bomber
By Jamie Hall
EDMONTON — One-hundred-thirty-five.
That’s how many days have passed since the Dawson Creek pipeline bomber last struck EnCana’s sour gas line near the tiny hamlet of Tomslake, 28 kilometres south of Dawson Creek, B.C., close to the Alberta-B.C. border.
The first three attacks took place in rapid succession last October, coming just days apart.
The last one, on Jan. 4, blew apart a wall of a shed housing a sour gas pipe.
Across the road from the targeted shed stood a house where a couple lived with their two young children, prompting police to label the attacks “increasingly violent.”
Since then, nothing.
Police have several theories about the silence.
“It’s possible that the suspect moved out of the area, it’s possible the suspect has just stopped,” said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields on Tuesday. “At this point, we don’t know. It’s also possible that the bomber stopped because he — or they — feel they have made their point, or because they feel the police are too close to them.”
Regardless, police have maintained a significant yet slightly less visible presence in the community, continuing to conduct inquiries and follow up on leads, said Shileds.
That presence still includes members of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
Shields said that leads have slowed to a trickle in the days since a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the bomber was first announced earlier this year.
Police still want to wrap up their investigation with an arrest, of course, but the cessation of attacks, however brief, is a welcome respite.
“It is good news that the explosions have stopped, of course,” said Shields.
“Our biggest concern was that someone was going to be injured, and to date no one has been, so that’s been a relief.”
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton JournalPosted by Arthur Caldicott on 19 May 2009