Storm Lake Police are turning to the public for help in catching the person or persons who have been placing propane tanks on the railroad tracks running through the city.
On Monday, police and Canadian National Railroad officials announced a $3,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Sunday morning, shortly after 8:30 a.m., officers were called to the Ontario Street railroad crossing after an alert off-duty Buena Vista County Sheriff's Deputy spotted a propane tank lying on the tracks 50-75 feet west of the crossing.
Police found a 33-pound propane tank had been placed on the tracks, apparently to cause an explosion. Officials believe that the tank could have blown up if an engine had struck it. The tanks was safely removed.
Previously, on October 14, 2004, and again on March 23, 2005, propane tanks were placed on the railroad tracks near the Hudson Street crossing and in both previous cases trains struck the tanks causing an explosion. Those incidents remain under investigation.
Law Enforcement officials advise that the exploding propane tanks could cause damage to the trains as well as property and people in the vicinity of the explosions.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Storm Lake Police Department at 712-732-8010.
The Storm Lake Police Department is being assisted in the investigations by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department, the Federal Canadian National Railroad Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.