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Attentive Home Depot staff may have helped prevent a violent crime

Although the accused says he was working on an art project, police picked up a man after Home Depot called them in on some suspicious purchases.

Buy bomb guts, Home Depot might call the cops

Last week, Douglass Herr, came into Home Depot in the St. Louis metro area to purchase several lengths of 1 ¼” pipe, and asked employees to cut them into 7 ½” lengths with threaded ends for end caps. Employees suspected the makings of a pipe bomb, and called the police.

The police arrested Herr at the Home Depot while he was waiting for his pipes to be cut. They obtained a search warrant for the Super 8 motel room where Herr was staying near the airport. There they found “materials for constructing pipe bombs…including 25 pounds of gunpowder, nine pipe end caps and fuse wire.”

The bomb guts were “for art”

Herr will be charged with a felony for unlawful manufacture of an illegal weapon in the St. Louis County Circuit Court. Officials did not reveal whether or not Herr had explained his intentions for the pipe bombs, although St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Tim Lohmar reports that Herr “said he just had this for artistic reasons. He didn’t expound on that. Just for art.”

Apparently Herr had also made vague threats towards President Obama, and had recently been stopped trying to enter a restricted area at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Herr has a history of violent crimes and in the past, has been ordered by the court to seek mental health counseling. Last year, Herr was convicted of assault after punching someone at the MetroLink station and brandishing as switchblade. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with stealing 36 pizzas from the back of a pizza delivery truck and punching the man who tried to stop him. In his plea documents for this case, Herr reported that he had manic depression and schizo-affective disorder.

Herr is currently being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton. His cash bail is set for $250,000.

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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