Maryland man facing multiple charges after stealing explosive devices from job

A Maryland man is facing charges after investigators say he stole destructive devices from his employer and brought them home. 

Stephen K. Thompson, 48, was taken into custody Monday after Thompson's estranged wife reported to authorities that she found suspicious items in the basement of their home.

Bomb technicians with the Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad responded and located the devices, which were determined to be blasting caps.

Blasting caps are highly sensitive devices used with explosives to initiate controlled detonations for construction, mining, and demolition. Officials say the devices can be extremely dangerous.  

"The potential consequences of their illicit use can be catastrophic, leading to severe injuries, loss of life, and extensive property damage," the Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a statement. 

Investigators concluded that Thompson stole the blasting caps from his employer, Rust-Oleum, which uses them within its fire suppression systems.

"The illegal possession and use of blasting caps are not only against the law but also jeopardize the safety of our citizens," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

Thompson was charged with eight counts of manufacturing and possessing an explosive device, one count of possessing explosives without a license and theft between $1,500-$25,000.

"The quick recognition of the potential hazard with these devices and her decision to immediately contact local authorities was absolutely appropriate in this incident," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "This serves as a positive reminder to all members of the public of the National message, ‘see something, say something.’"

Thompson is currently being held at Washington County Detention Center without bond.