GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Authorities captured a fired air traffic controller suspected of planting bombs at homes around Grand Junction to get even with his former employer.
Robert Burke, 54, was arrested in Provo, Utah, late Wednesday by police and federal officers acting on a tip, authorities said. He awaited an appearance in federal court Thursday in Salt Lake City.
Burke was wanted in a series of explosions March 24 at the Grand Junction-area homes of three people who work for Serco Group, a company that operates the control tower at the city's Walker Field Airport.
Officers disarmed bombs found at the Grand Junction-area homes of a fourth Serco worker and a Federal Aviation Administration employee.
A similar bomb exploded in February on the roof of a Serco office in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
No one was injured in any of the blasts.
Burke, a 10-year Serco employee, was fired two years ago while working at Walker Field. Serco would not say why.
A man claiming to be a friend of Burke's called the newspaper to request that a reporter meet him in Provo at noon. The caller indicated Burke had information stored on a computer he wanted to make public.
"We believed the person who called us was in fact Burke, and we notified authorities of our planned meeting," said Dennis Herzog, managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.
Surveillance teams working undercover discovered a vehicle Burke was believed to have been driving late Wednesday behind a Wal-Mart store. Officers confronted the man when he stepped out of the van and began walking toward the store.
He identified himself as Robert Burke when questioned by authorities, who discovered a handgun inside the vehicle.
Burke was arrested without incident.