FBI, ATF, State Police Investigate Pershing Street Man's Alleged Homemade Explosives
The following information was supplied by the Westford Police Department. Where arrests or charges are mentioned, it does not indicate a conviction.
The following are entries from the Westford Police log for Nov. 2 to 5.
Additional information is available in certain cases from the Westford Police Records Department for a nominal fee.
Saturday, Nov. 4
12:00 p.m. - Steven VanStrien, 58, of 5 Pershing St. was arrested on charges of alleged class A drug possession, possession of illegal ammunition, possession of bomb making devices, possession of firearms without an FID card, possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, and three counts of improper storage of a firearm.
A search warrant was issued for an initial search of VanStrien's home, where police found hyperdermic needles with a burnt spoon consistent with heroin use and several rounds of ammunition.
Subsequent searches found more hypodermic needles, more rounds of ammunition, and explosive tubular devices approximately 2 to 6 inches long.
At this point, the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad was called in, followed later by ATF and FBI agents to provide closer inspection to the explosive devices.
These agencies informed local police that they believed that the explosives were made within the home, and that they also found several cases of chemicals and books on how to make explosives.
The second search also found loaded and unlocked handguns in Rubbermaid containers and underneath mattresses.
VanStrien was arraigned in Ayer District Court and will head there again for pretrial proceedings on Nov. 29
Oct. 5, 10:21 p.m. - Residents reported gunshots in the Stoneview and West Street areas. Groton Police reported that their residents had similar complaints, but eventually discovered the noises were fireworks from Groton.
Oct. 9, 9:29 a.m. - Police responded to reports of a breaking and entering on Littleton Road.
Apparently someone had broken into a trailer and took a 60 foot roll of copper tubing.
Police believed the break-in was made a large screwdriver looking at entry marks on the door of the trailer.
No suspects were immediately identified.
Oct. 25, 11:36 a.m. - A Westford resident called police after a driver was tailgating him on Route 27. Police found the tailgater and offered a verbal warning.