Wise County Crimestoppers is offering up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest of whoever stole two metal cylinders from the Army Navy Surplus in Alvord.
They may be doing the thieves a favor.
The cylinders, which are approximately four inches in diameter and 48 inches long, are rocket catapults and could create an explosion if they are ruptured.
Sgt. Anissa Satterfield, investigator with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, said the stolen items are potentially dangerous.
“They’re not ammunition rounds, they’re cylinders – the rockets that go under the pilot’s seat in military airplanes that eject the seat,” she said. “They’re filled with some sort of gas and appear to be brass, but they are not.
“We don’t know what sets them off, but it comes out with a very violent force.”
Satterfield said the items were stolen from inside the business the weekend of Feb. 1-3 along with an air compressor, U.S. Navy binoculars, a large red toolbox, a World War II survival knife, and an ammo can containing 23 U.S. Air Force pilot survival hunting knives – all in tan sheaths with sharpening blades on the front.
The thieves cut the lock on a gate, then cut the chain-link fence surrounding the building before forcing entry.
Investigators believe the cylinders were stolen to be sold as scrap metal. Satterfield said Tuesday she had no leads so far.
“I just looked at this case yesterday,” she said. “I didn’t realize these things were possibly dangerous until I talked to the victim. We wanted the public to know the rocket cylinders are charged with gas and very volatile.”
Anyone with information about the theft should call Sgt. Satterfield as soon as possible at 940-627-5971, ext. 248, or email her at email@example.com. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at (800) 643-TIPS or 940-627-TIPS (8477) 24 hours a day.