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Chester County Press

Cochranville brothers arrested for making, setting off bombs

05/17/2016 06:10PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Caleb and Daniel Tate, 22-year-old twin brothers who live in Cochranville, are facing charges that they exploded improvised explosive devices that they made themselves at five separate locations in Chester and Lancaster counties.

Daniel Tate attends Pepperdine University, while Caleb Tate attends Belmont University in Tennessee. According to the Chester County District Attorney's office, the brothers returned to their Cochranville home in December of 2015 and constructed bombs out of various materials, including metal pipes, fuel containers, propane canisters, propane torch tips, and other items. On Dec. 20, they blew up a mailbox on Friends Meetinghouse Road in Highland township. Two days later, they detonated one of the explosive devices in a wooded area on Faggs Manor Road.

Next, they started detonating the bombs in buildings. On Dec. 30, they exploded a pipe bomb in an Amish phone shed on Bartville Road in Colerain Township. The phone shed was badly damaged, according to authorities.

On Dec. 31, they detonated a devise at an Amish produce shed on May Post Office Road in Strasburg Township and then, later in the day, blew up a well pump on Ross Fording Road in West Fallowfield Township. The building was destroyed.

No people were injured in any of the explosions, which usually were set off in the early-morning hours.

The Pennsylvania State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the incidents, and they were able to identify the defendants shoplifting some of the materials for the explosives at local stores. A fingerprint of one of the suspects was discovered at one of the places where bombs were detonated.

The brothers are charged with arson by explosion, arson by possession of explosive devices, conspiracy, theft, and related charges.

Anybody with information about the case should contact Trooper Jerry Harper of the Troop J Fire Marshal Unit at 717-299-7650.