We now know what led to the evacuation of the Office Max last Thursday along Wards Road. Lynchburg Police say a stolen car call led to the discovery of a mobile meth lab in the trunk. Officials say a state police used a robot to safely dispose the lab without incident. Police say the car’s driver, 35-year-old Jason Gowen of Campbell County, is charged with auto theft, domestic assault and battery for a previous incident, and more charges are pending.
News release: On August 2, 2018 at 10:23 AM, the Lynchburg Police Department received information regarding a stolen vehicle in the area of Wards Road. The vehicle was a 2003 Saturn Ion that had been reported stolen on July 31, 2018 out of Campbell County. Patrol officers with the LPD located the vehicle in the Office Max parking lot at 2535 Wards Rd at 10:50 AM. The driver of the vehicle, Jason Gowen, a 35-year-old of Campbell County, was wanted for Domestic Assault & Battery, Larceny, and Auto Theft. He was arrested without incident. During a search of the vehicle, a suspected mobile clandestine lab was located in the trunk. Due to the incendiary nature of the items located, Office Max was evacuated, and a perimeter was secured. Virginia State Police was notified and responded to the scene along with the Lynchburg Fire Department. The VSP Clandestine Lab Team and Bomb Unit were able to utilize a bomb robot to dispose of the clandestine lab without incident. Additional charges are pending further investigation.