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Dynamite find evacuates Burnaby highrise

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Residents of a Metrotown-area apartment tower were evacuated Monday night after police found dynamite in a suite while executing a search warrant.

Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Dave Reid said someone who was in an 11th-floor suite at 4266 Grange St. doing scheduled building upgrades noticed some white powder he believed to be drugs. He notified the building manager, providing photos he shot with his cellphone.

At about 9:30 a.m. the manager called police who had a look at the photos and then got a search warrant to look for narcotics.

When they went in to the apartment at about 5 p.m., Burnaby RCMP officers found a duffle bag which contained what appeared to be dynamite. They took photos of it and left, contacting its explosives disposal unit who confirmed it as dynamite.

Based on that, officers evacuated the building, going floor by floor, knocking on all doors, Reid said.

The bomb squad then removed the 10 sticks of dynamite as well as some modified carbon dioxide canisters and destroyed them through a controlled burning a safe distance away.

Residents were allowed back into their homes at about 11 p.m. after being out for three to four hours.

Burnaby RCMP also seized two kilograms of cocaine, several guns and cash from the suite.

Police are still searching for the person who rented the apartment "who is not known to us other than minor past issues," Reid said. "He is not associated to any specific gangs that we know of."

The tenant faces charges related to drug trafficking, illegal weapons and possession and unsafe storage of an explosive device. The dynamite was unstable and likely stolen "because you don't just walk into a store and buy 10 sticks of dynamite," Reid said.

"There's a lot we'd like to talk to him about."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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