Alabama man charged in connection with ‘bomb threat’ in Cobb County

Robert Devlin
Robert Devlin(Marietta Police Department)
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 11:57 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 11:21 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COBB COUNTY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A man was arrested in connection to “a credible bomb threat” near a busy shopping center in Cobb County on Saturday.

The Marietta Police Department says officers received notification from Cobb County 911 dispatch that a call/tip had come in at 8:13 a.m. indicating that a pickup truck parked in the area near the East Gate shopping plaza (1800 Lower Roswell Road) may have some sort of a bomb or explosive device in the back.

Marietta officers responded to the area and made contact with the vehicle owner, identified as 37-year-old Robert Devlin, of Lincoln, Alabama.

Based on the circumstances and statements made by Devlin, officers say they determined the threat to be credible and immediately began evacuating the area.

Devlin was taken into custody without incident and the surrounding businesses were notified and requested to evacuate.

A Cobb County Police Department Bomb Squad was called to the scene along with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Officials say around noon, a device resembling a pipe bomb was removed from the truck and secured by the CCPD bomb technicians. The rest of the vehicle was searched via robot and once it was determined to be free of other devices, the suspect vehicle was impounded, and the area was reopened to the public around 3 p.m.

1 in custody, truck searched after ‘credible’ bomb threat in Cobb Co.
1 in custody, truck searched after ‘credible’ bomb threat in Cobb Co.(Atlanta News First)

Devlin was interviewed at the Marietta Police Department before being charged and booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center. It was later determined he was the 911 caller, as well as the owner and operator of the pickup truck containing the device, according to Marietta PD.

Devlin was initially charged with False Report of a Crime (M), Destructive Devices – Hoax Device (M), and False Public Alarm (F).

Several hours later, detectives say they were notified that CCPD had safely opened the suspected pipe bomb and determined that while it did contain some explosive elements, it lacked other components necessary for it to be considered a fully assembled explosive device.

Devlin remains in jail facing a $60,000 bond.

The investigation remains open, and it is unclear why he traveled to Marietta or called 911 on himself. Anyone with information is urged to contact MPD Detective Bollinger at 770-794-5345.