The Chelsea bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami is accused of being this person) set more bombs around New York and New Jersey, but two of them were discovered and defused before they could go off because they were hidden in bags that thieves and homeless people took an interest in.
One bomb, left in a rolling suitcase on West 27th Street, was accidentally defused by two thieves who were captured on CCTV opening the bag, transferring the bomb to a trashbag (which they left behind) and making off with the suitcase. The cellphone attached to that bomb, and a fingerprint recovered from the bomb, led police to Rahami.
Later, two homeless men found a backpack full of pipe-bombs on top of a trash-bin near the Elizabeth, NJ train station, which they turned into a nearby police-station. Police believe these bombs were the handiwork of the Chelsea bomber.
They started rooting through the bag and found five explosives that officials say are tied to Rahami, prompting them to immediately drop the bag in the middle of the street and alert police, officials said.
"When they opened it up and found the wire and the pipe they immediately walked around the other corner to Elizabeth police headquarters and turned it in," Bollwage said.
"People go through life on the edge in a very difficult position yet they probably saved hundreds of lives," the mayor added.
Investigators believe Rahami left the bomb in the Elizabeth train station "probably to get rid of the evidence" because it lacked any detonators like those used for the Chelsea devices, according to Bollwage.
[Murray Weiss, Nicholas Rizzi, Trevor Kapp and Aidan Gardiner/DNA Info]