USA

Two men charged after van filled with explosives is discovered in Philadelphia

Two men in Philadelphia were charged on Thursday with possessing explosives that were found in a van in the heart of the city, prosecutors said.

Brian Larue and Eric Murra are accused of transporting “quarter or half sticks of dynamite,” a handheld propane tank torch and other tools in the van they ditched near Logan Circle on Wednesday night, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

Authorities said the contents found inside the van are commonly used to steal money from ATM machines. Over the last four days, Philadelphia has seen at least 30 such crimes, prosecutors said.

Police first noticed the van, which was parked in a hotel parking lot with about a dozen others, when they responded to a commercial burglary alarm earlier in the night, authorities.

The fleet of vans started to leave once police arrived, leading to a pursuit of some of the vehicles.

Officers arrested Larue and Murra after they pulled over to remove tape that had been concealing the license plate, prosecutors said.

The two were charged with possession of weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy, and risking a catastrophe.

The bust came as the city faced unruly protests over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr.

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