Florida woman arrested after 24 pipe bombs found in home

National News

Oct 4, 2019, 1:51 PM ET

Florida woman is behind bars and facing 24 counts of making a destructive device with an attempt to harm after being turned in by her parents.

Just after 5 p.m. Thursday, the parents of 27-year-old Michelle Kolts called 911 after allegedly finding bomb-making materials in their home, officials said. When deputies entered Kolts’ room, they found dozens of weapons including 24 pipe bombs, smokeless pistol powder, fuse materials, 23 knives, two hatches, two BB-type riffles, six BB-type handguns, nunchucks and “dozens of books and DVDs about murder, mass killing, domestic terrorism and bomb-making,” according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

“If used, these bombs could have caused catastrophic damage to hundreds even thousands of people,” and that’s precisely what she intended to do, Chronister said a press conference Friday.

PHOTO: The Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office released this image of items recovered during the arrest of 27-year-old Michelle Kolts.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released this image of items recovered during the arrest of 27-year-old Michelle Kolts.

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To make matters worse, the sheriff said many of the bombs contained nails and metallic pellets or a combination of both. “She made the devices and she planned to use them to hurt people,” he said.

Kolts was arrested Thursday night without incident at her job. Chronister said Kolts’ parents are heroes for calling 911 to report their daughter. He said it’s hard to know how many lives were saved had the parents not “found the courage” to call the sheriff’s office and seek help.

She is being held in the Hillsborough County Jail on $180,000 bond. At this time, the sheriff’s office said they do not know if she has retained any counsel. Kolts’ first court appearance is on Saturday morning, the sheriff’s office told ABC News.

PHOTO: Michelle Kolts ia seen here in an undated mug shot.
Michelle Kolts ia seen here in an undated mug shot.

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In August 2018, Chronister said authorities were called to Kolts’ home. An online printing company called authorities last year, saying it was suspicious that she ordered several manifestos, books about anarchists and books about bomb-making. They said she was consumed with Columbine and the Oklahoma City killings, but Kolts wasn’t diagnosed with any type of mental health issue, and deputies believed her intentions were not to harm, Chronister said.

He said Kolts was on their radar, but until yesterday was never perceived as a real threat to the Tampa Bay community.

PHOTO: The Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office released this image of items recovered during the arrest of 27-year-old Michelle Kolts.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released this image of items recovered during the arrest of 27-year-old Michelle Kolts.

“It’s because of these parents that a catastrophic event didn’t happen,” Chronister said. “I stand here proud that something tremendous was prevented.”

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