SEBRING (FOX 13) - Business in Highlands County was brought to a halt for many Wednesday after investigators found four explosives devices just off U.S. 27, the most heavily traveled road through town.
One was near an eye clinic and three were in a backpack in front of a Denny's restaurant.
"These devices could have caused damage to people, facilities. It is clearly a very serious threat," offered Sheriff Susan Benton.
It was a little after 8 a.m. when someone at Newsom Eye and Laser Clinic called police to report a possible break-in. Responding officers say they came across Anthony Cauley, an ex-con, walking a few hundred yards away in front of the Denny's on U.S. 27.
When they looked inside his backpack, they say the discovered three PVC pipe bombs and cut shotgun shells.
They took Cauley into custody, then found what they describe as a Molotov cocktail in front of the eye clinic.
Investigators searched Cauley's home and a relative's car -- which he is suspected of stealing -- and said they found suspicious items.
Detectives are looking into whether Cauley, 30, may have left the explosive device near the eye clinic, where he has been seen hanging out lately.
"It kind of surprised me about the bombs but I know he's been in a lot of trouble," said Cauley's neighbor, Cathy Latta. She saw Cauley just hours before the incident.
The case is now in the hands of the FBI. Agents will be reviewing surveillance footage from the clinic for more information.