** This story has been updated with new information **
Investigators believe fire-starting devices found throughout Colorado Springs are the work of teenagers who are playing pranks, but they’re hanging onto every suspicious lead they find.
11 News investigative reporter Betty Sexton first heard about the suspicious devices from an email sent to residents of the Kissing Camels Estates. The email warned residents that a resident found some suspicious material in a remote cul-de-sac.
Sexton spoke with that resident, who says he found it on the ground next to a beer bottle and an empty package of cigarettes.
After some digging, Sexton learned that as many as five of the homemade fire-starting devices were found and collected by police and firefighters. In addition to the one in Kissing Camels, similar material was found in Ute Valley Park near Rockrimmon and in Cheyenne Canyon, on the southwest side of the city.
"We're examining all of those items and we're collecting them to put them into evidence and we'll process those with all the other things that we locate,” said Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacey.
Lacey says a task force is working the case. It involves members of the U.S. Forest Service, city police, city fire and law enforcement authorities from El Paso, Teller and Douglas counties.
When asked if the fire-starting devices are connected to the Waldo Canyon Fire, Fire Marshal Lacey said there was no evidence of a connection at this time. “Until more information becomes available but it will be some time before any of that becomes discovered,” he said.
Still, he has a strong message for whomever is making those incendiary devices. "What they may think as a joke right now, or something that's funny and harmless, could be very detrimental to their future and the finances of their parents because their parents are going to be responsible for anything that they do."
**An earlier version of this story broke on Saturday night. The City of Colorado Springs called us just moments before the 10:00 p.m. newscast to tell us the items were just trash. When we followed up the next day and asked who told them that, they didn’t know. That’s why Betty Sexton did additional digging and learned about this ongoing investigation.
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