A report of explosives in a home at 109 Fourth St. in Pennsburg set off a full scale emergency response on Sunday night.
Montgomery County emergency radio dispatchers received a call just before 7 p.m. and relayed the message to Upper Perk police that “a neighbor has third party information … that there are guns in the house and possibly bombs or booby traps and other guns in the house.” The caller and neighbor found a rifle in the insulation in the attic of the home prior to police arrival.
According to Upper Perk Police Chief Mike Devlin, police responded to the call around 7 p.m. and effected an evacuation of neighbors in close vicinity to the Fourth Street address. The identity of the caller is known. At this time, the caller’s intentions are not deemed to be false and police are withholding the name, for the caller’s own protection.
Fire units from the Pennsburg Fire Company and an ambulance from the Upper Perkiomen Ambulance Association were dispatched to stand-by about a block from the scene.
Pennsburg fire police closed off Fourth Street to all traffic from Long Alley to Railroad Street and sealed Dotts Street from Pottstown Avenue to Third Street in the borough.
An agent from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded, as well as units from the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Department Bomb Squad. An explosive detection K9 unit from Cheltenham Police Department was called to the scene to assist in the search.
Around 11 p.m., a robot device was deployed into the home and shortly after, a deputy sheriff, in full explosive protection gear, also entered the home.
Devlin added that after a thorough search was conducted, no explosives or explosive devises were found.
According to Montgomery County records, the house is owned by 66-year-old Theodore Palencar.
Palencar was arrested on July 8 and charged with Simple Assault and Terroristic Threats after Upper Perk Police responded to the residence for the report of a domestic dispute. Upon their arrival, police determined that Palencar assaulted and threatened his wife.
Palencar was arraigned in District Court 38-2-02 by Justice Kathryn Hummel-Fried on July 9 and remanded to the Montgomery County Correction Facility in lieu of $1,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 19.
Fire police opened the streets around 11:30 p.m. and the evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Upper Perk Police at (215) 679-8203.