Durham Regional Police detonated a “homemade incendiary device” at The Pantry Convenience in Oshawa in the afternoon of Oct. 25.
“The package was designed to explode or catch fire when touched, but our explosives disposal unit was able to disable it before it could cause any harm,” said Const. George Tudos in an interview on Monday.
Another suspicious package similar to this was discovered at Taunton Convenience, which is also in Oshawa, earlier that day. Police believe the two incidents are connected and were carried out by the same suspect.
“We are still actively looking for the suspect, we have a vague description but nothing more as of this moment,” said Tudos.
The suspect is described as male, white, in his 20s. He wore all black clothing and white shoes. In the first incident he wore similar clothing, but with black shoes with white around the outer sole. The suspect appears to flee on foot in both incidents, as appears on security camera footage.
No injuries were reported at either location.
“The two convenience stores were targeted because they both offer adult related content, and the suspect did not seem to agree with that,” Tudos said.
Ralph Pauley, who lives across the street from The Pantry Convenience, was frightened when he heard about the incident from his neighbours.
“Nothing like this has happened since I’ve moved here, it’s pretty scary that it’s so close to home,” said Pauley.
The suspect poses a minimum threat to the public as police believe he is trying to lay low at the moment. However, police also say the public should stay aware as the suspect has not yet been detained.
Pauley said he was startled when he saw the police tape, but not surprised.
“I moved here around a year and a half ago and it’s become more dangerous since. I moved here because of the reputation of the neighbourhood, it’s not so safe anymore,” Pauley said.
Park Road North is a residential road where many young parents move to in order to raise families. In recent years the reputation of the area has begun to diminish.
“Criminal activity has been more consistent this year compared to recent years in Oshawa, this is a trend we’re trying to stop,” said Tudos. According to police, the highest crime rate in Durham belongs to Oshawa, with crimes such drug possession and theft on the rise.
If you have any information about the suspect or any suspicious packages contact police at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2766 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.