HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – A young Florida woman is in police custody after deputies discovered two dozen explosive devices and a cache of other weapons in her home on Thursday.
So, how did she get caught?
According to a report from ABC News, police responded to the Hillsborough County home just after 5 p.m. on Thursday after receiving reports that the homeowners’ daughter was up to no good. When they arrived, they discovered an arsenal of bomb-making materials stashed away, along with a number of other weapons.
Among the confiscated materials were 24 pipe bombs, smokeless pistol powder, fuse materials, 23 knives, two hatchets, six BB-gun handguns, two BB-gun rifles, nunchucks, and “dozens of books and DVDs about murder, mass killing, domestic terrorism and bomb-making.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that they arrested 27-year-old Michelle Kolts.
She is now facing 24 counts of making a destructive device with an attempt to harm, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
Chronister said the Kolts’ decision to turn in their daughter potentially saved thousands of people from whatever type of attack she may have been planning.
“If used, these bombs could have caused catastrophic damage to hundreds even thousands of people,” which was exactly her goal, Chronister said a press conference.
According to Chronister, the bombs were packed with metal balls, nails and other projectiles that would maximize injuries and deaths upon detonation.
“She made the devices and she planned to use them to hurt people,” the sheriff said.
Kolts was not at home when police made entry and secured the massive arsenal of weapons. ABC noted that officers went to her job Thursday evening and took her into custody without incident.
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This is not the first run-in that Michelle Kolts has had with Florida authorities. Police were called to the residence in 2018 after an online printing company contacted authorities and advised them that Kolts had ordered several books on bomb making, anarchy and past manifestos from notorious mass killers. Investigators said they discovered that the young girl had been obsessed with infamous attacks like the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Columbine massacre.
She was not diagnosed with any mental health issues and deputies didn’t think that she intended to cause any harm at that point. Flash forward to a year later, and we see the massive change in the girl’s behavior.
Kolts had remained in their sights as a concern, but until this week, deputies had no clue as to what she might have been planning.
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Chronister said he didn’t know what could have happened if her parents had not “found the courage” to call the sheriff’s department and advise them of the situation.
“It’s because of these parents that a catastrophic event didn’t happen,” Chronister said. “I stand here proud that something tremendous was prevented.”