6:30 p.m. Update
The Virginia State Police Bomb Unit conducted a thorough search around the vicinity of the dumpster behind Virginia Credit Union at 2150 Gordon W. Shelton Blvd, and declared the area free from additional explosive devices, said Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer.
Residents of the six apartments evacuated as a precautionary measure have been allowed to return to their homes. The apartments are behind the bank and close to the dumpster.
A resident of those same apartments called police Wednesday morning to report she'd heard an explosion around 4 a.m., and the noise was strong enough to have set off car alarms in the area, Bledsoe said. The witness also observed a person walking around the ATM, but the witness was too far away to be able to provide a useful description.
A review of the bank surveillance video confirmed that an individual placed some sort of device at the base of the ATM around 4 a.m., Bledsoe said. The device exploded, but the ATM remained intact and functional. The explosion also caused superficial damage to the drive-through area. The drive-through of the bank remains closed.
This is an active and ongoing investigation led by Fredericksburg detectives and the Fire Marshal.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Fredericksburg Police Department at 540-373-3122 or Detective Doug Perkins at 540-654-5758. Callers are not required to give their names.
2:30 p.m. Update
The Virginia State Police Arson/Bomb unit are now on the scene to search for a secondary device in the area of the dumpster behind the bank, said Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer. A bomb detection dog earlier gave a suspicious indication at the dumpster, Bledsoe said.
Law enforcement officials have evacuated the credit union and the apartments closest to the crime scene in the adjacent apartment community, Seasons at Celebrate Virginia (formerly the Haven at Celebrate Virginia).
11:30 a.m. Update
Representatives from the FBI are now on the scene, said Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer.
The bomb detection dog from the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office has completed the search of the crime scene. No other explosive devices were found, Bledsoe said. "The bank is open for business, although the drive-thru is closed," she said.
Virginia State Police bomb technicians are on the way to provide assistance.
Law enforcement officials and at least one bomb sniffing dog are on the scene of the Virginia Credit Union at 2150 Gordon W. Shelton Blvd. investigating an early morning bomb blast to the bank's outdoor ATM, according to police.
Staff arriving to work about 9 a.m. Wednesday discovered obvious damage to the ATM and called City of Fredericksburg Police, said Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer.
"Detectives are on the scene to search for evidence and to ensure the scene is safe," said Bledsoe. She said the bank is a crime scene and the building will remain closed until it is declared safe.
Detectives have confirmed some kind of incendiary device detonated at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, Bledsoe said. Confirmation came from credit union security video and a call from a citizen saying she heard the blast and car alarms going off at that hour.
"No apparent access was gained to the ATM, and it appears the machine still works," said Bledsoe.
City of Fredericksburg detectives, Virginia State Police and Spotsylvania Sheriff's deputies are in full investigative mode at the scene, Bledsoe said.
"Any residents who hear or see anything suspicious are encouraged to call 911 anytime day or night," Bledsoe.
Anyone with information related to this crime can call the City of Fredericksburg Police non-emergency number at 540-373-3122.
Find Fredericksburg Patch on: