Doofus Of The Day #765

Courtesy of a link from Rev. Paul, today’s award goes to the Airport Police in Anchorage, Alaska.

Police at Anchorage’s airport briefly lost track of a small quantity of explosives used for training K-9 units Monday, but were able to recover them hours after a rental-car customer drove away the vehicle they were attached to.

There’s more at the link.

And whose bright idea was it to attach the explosives to a car that was in the active rental pool, rather than one they knew would be hanging around for a while?

As a matter of fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of explosives in a rental car.  Back in the 1980’s, in South Africa, a family bought a well-used Volkswagen Kombi from a car rental company.  They drove it for several months, and noticed that dirt and dust seemed to collect at several evenly-spaced spots on one of the side panels.  When they took it in for a routine service, they mentioned this to the technician and asked him to find out why those points in particular attracted road dirt.

When he took off the interior panel to check the bodywork, he nearly fainted.  There were four Soviet SPM limpet mines attached to the metal using their magnets – the same type of mine frequently used to target civilians as part of the terrorist campaign in South Africa.  (See here for one such attack.)   He called the police, who brought in the bomb squad to remove them.  They surmised that a terrorist or sympathizer had rented the vehicle and concealed the limpet mines inside the interior panel, but for some reason was unable to deliver them to their destination.  The magnets on the mines had attracted iron particles in the road dust and dirt ever since, causing the patterns noted by the Kombi’s new owners.

As the technician observed, it’s a good thing they never had a collision with that particular cargo on board!



  1. Another reason never to buy a former rental car.

    On the other hand, I can think of several good uses for a Soviet limpet mine! Could be good fun.

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