Police: Wauconda man had explosives in his basement
A Wauconda man who threatened to blow up police officers at his house had explosives in his basement, authorities said Friday.
Andreas Stachel, 49, of the 400 block of Lake Shore Boulevard, was charged Friday with felony counts of unlawful possession of explosives or incendiary devices, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of cannabis.
About 125 homes in Stachel's neighborhood, which is just east of downtown Wauconda, were evacuated from Thursday evening into early Friday morning while police searched his home for bombs and other evidence.
Four explosive devices were found, police said.
"(They) looked like they were homemade sticks of dynamite," Police Chief David Wermes said.
Police also found about a half-pound of marijuana in the house, Wermes said. Firearms and ammunition were seized, too.
Stachel made the threat Thursday afternoon while trying to pawn a rifle at Super Pawn in Round Lake, Wauconda police said.
He told a store employee he was terminally ill and intended to lure police to his home and blow them up, authorities said.
The employee reported the threat to Wauconda police about 3:30 p.m., Wermes said. Police responded by going to Stachel's house and watching it from a distance while he was inside, Wermes said.
Police arrested Stachel about 5 p.m. after he left the house, got into a car and began driving away, Wermes said. He didn't resist.
Once Stachel was in custody, police and public works crews set up roadblocks to keep people from entering the neighborhood. Police also used social media and other communications tools to order nearby residents to flee their homes as a safety precaution.
Simultaneously, representatives of local, regional, state and federal law enforcement agencies converged on the neighborhood.
Police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched the house for hours, first with a robot and then with dogs trained to detect bombs, Wermes said.
No one was injured during the investigation.
Stachel has a long history of run-ins with the police, including several arrests for traffic violations, Wermes said.
Stachel was transported to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation Friday.
Once released from the hospital, he will appear in court for a bond hearing, police said.