Chemicals taken this week from the Community College of Allegheny County could be used in drug manufacturing or to create explosives, acting Pittsburgh public safety director Stephen Bucar said Thursday night.
Mr. Bucar would not name the chemicals taken but downplayed their potential uses, saying that many substances found under a typical kitchen sink also could be used to make explosives.
“There is no indication that the chemicals were taken for any specific reason,” Mr. Bucar said.
Police were called to the North Side college’s K. Leroy Irvis Science Center shortly after it opened Tuesday morning after someone discovered that chemicals used in a science lab were missing.
Part of the science center was flooded in January, but details about the flooding were scarce Thursday. Amy Kuntz, chairwoman of the school’s board of trustees, said she was aware of the flood but did not think it had affected the way the school stored its chemicals.
Ms. Kuntz said CCAC president Quintin Bullock had been providing her with regular updates since the burglary. She said she could not discuss the “layout of the investigation.”
Students and staff members continued to use the science center Thursday but were blocked from the area where the chemicals were stored, Ms. Kuntz said.
Mr. Bucar said there will be additional security measures in place for the city’s Fourth of July celebrations. He said those changes were pre-planned based on his experience working in New York City and were not related to the theft.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published July 3, 2014 12:00 AM