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chelsea bombing

Bag-snatching thieves reportedly thwarted another NYC bombing

The hunt is on for Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man allegedly responsible for at least three homemade bombs placed in New York and New Jersey over the weekend. Only one of those bombs, in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, actually detonated, though — and pedestrians have thieves to thank for potentially saving many lives.

On Sunday night, two thieves stole a backpack sitting on top of a trash can at a commuter train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. When the pair opened the bag to see their loot, they were stunned to find five explosives inside. The thieves dropped the bag in the middle of the street and ran to call police.

It wasn't even the first time thieves thwarted the bomber's schemes. On Saturday, before the bomb detonated on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, two thieves disabled a pressure cooker in a suitcase on West 27th Street — likely completely on accident:

The young men, who sources described as being well-dressed, opened the bag and took the bomb out, sources said, before placing the explosive into a garbage bag and walking away with the rolling suitcase.

In doing so, investigators believe they inadvertently disabled the explosive, sources said. That allowed investigators to examine the cellphone attached to the bomb intact and discover that it was connected to the family of Rahami. [DNAInfo]

"Who in this world finds a pressure cooker with a phone and just takes the bag?" a law enforcement source marveled to DNAInfo. Regardless, whoever you are — thank you.