CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (WKRN) – A Belmont University student and his twin brother have been arrested for exploding devices in five separate locations in Pennsylvania.
Caleb and Daniel Tate, 22, are each charged with arson by explosion, arson by possession of explosive devices, conspiracy, and theft, among others.
While they are from Cochranville, Pennsylvania, Caleb Tate is a student at Belmont University here in Nashville, Tennessee, while his brother Daniel attends Pepperdine University in California.
According to the Chester County district attorney, the brothers were home during winter break in December 2015 when they constructed bombs out of various materials, including metal pipes, fuel container, propane canisters, and propane torch tips.
The brothers are accused of blowing up a mailbox on Dec. 20 then detonating an IED in a wooded area two days later.
A press release says the brothers then exploded a pipe bomb in an Amish phone shed on Dec. 30. An Amish phone shed or phone shanty is an enclosed building containing a phone used jointly by multiple Amish families, who do not permit phones in their homes. The shed was badly damaged.
The following day on Dec. 31, the brothers are accused of detonating an IED in an Amish produce shed, which was damaged in the explosion.
The district attorney says later that same day, a well pump shed was blown up and destroyed.
All of the explosions generally happened during early morning hours. No people were in any of the buildings when the explosions took place.
Both the Pennsylvania State Police and ATF investigated the bombings, which occurred within a 12-mile radius in a rural area.
Investigators reportedly found video of the Tate brothers shoplifting materials for the IEDs from local stores. Some of the supplies were also charged in one of their names, according to officials.
The district attorney says further investigation led to more video evidence of the brothers buying bomb material from another store in the area.
Officials said, in addition, investigators were able to match Daniel Tate’s finger print from electrical tape recovered at one of the explosion scenes.
News 2 reached out to Belmont University for comment. They said:
We can confirm that Caleb Tate was a registered Belmont student this year and was studying during the spring semester in Los Angeles as part of the Belmont West program. As a practice, we do not comment on ongoing investigations or judicial processes. Belmont is deeply committed to student safety and will address violations of the University’s code of conduct.
Belmont University’s success in achieving its mission and vision is highly dependent on the quality of the community it creates among its participants. Each student’s enrollment and participation in University life is conditioned upon behavior that is consistent with these commitments. We are diligent in communicating our expectations and in addressing any incidents that occur.