Twins brothers from rural Pennsylvania have been arrested in connection with a series of homemade bombs that were detonated across a 12-mile stretch of the Keystone State late last year, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Cochranville residents Daniel and Caleb Tate, both 22, surrendered to authorities Monday and were formally charged with multiple counts of arson, as well as conspiracy, theft and other felonies related to the December 2015 bombing incidents. They were both released on unsecured bond and are expected back in court June 9.
The district attorney’s office in Chester County believes the twin brothers detonated several improvised explosive devices across the region while on winter break from college. Belmont University in Tennessee confirmed Tuesday that Caleb Tate is a student at the school and was most recently studying in Los Angeles during the spring semester; his brother, Daniel, recently graduated from Pepperdine University in California, prosecutors said.
An affidavit unsealed this week accuses the twins of constructing homemade IEDs that were blown up in five locations in Chester and Lancaster counties between Dec. 20 and Dec. 31. The bombs, made from materials including metal pipes, propane canisters and fuel containers, resulted in several structures across the region being badly damaged or destroyed, including a mailbox, an Amish phone shed and a well-pump shed.
Although no injuries resulted from the explosions, prosecutors said that had the potential of being fatal.
“We live in a world where the thought of bombs exploding around us is a very real fear,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a statement.
“These defendants brought that fear to our region during a two-week crime spree where they detonated multiple IEDs. The Pennsylvania State Police and ATF did an outstanding job investigating this case and discovering who was responsible.”
According to the affidavit, a trail of evidence left by the Tate twins allowed authorities to secure confessions from both before charges were announced this week. It was not immediately clear if either had entered a plea.
Video evidence obtained by authorities allegedly showed the brothers shoplifting materials that were later used to build the IEDs. Credit card transactions also tied one of twins to bomb making supplies, and Daniel Tate’s fingerprints matched evidence at one of the crime scenes.
During a Feb. 18 interview at Pepperdine between police and Daniel Tate, the student allegedly “confessed to manufacturing, and intentionally detonating pipe bomb explosive devices with his brother Caleb Tate at all of the explosive scenes,” the The Philadelphia Inquirer said, citing the affidavit.
That same day investigators spoke with Caleb Tate at his Los Angeles apartment and secured a similar confession, the newspaper reported.
Vincent DiFabio, an attorney for Daniel Tate, told the Inquirer that his client has cooperated with authorities, who were “fully satisfied with his cooperation and candor.”