Sabotage. That is what the owners of Ponderosa Market say someone did when they planted a stink bomb of sorts in the Pine market last week.
On Monday, workers at Ponderosa Market finally discovered what had been making the rural grocery store smell so bad.
It all started around noon Friday, May 23 when employees and customers noticed an unusual stench.
“We were very, very busy,” said owner Cindy Maack, given the Memorial Day weekend holiday and craft fair.
“In our spare time we would run around and look,” she said. They searched behind coolers, boxes and storage racks for the smelly culprit.
Still, they could find nothing.
On Monday, they narrowed the search to one area of the store. Eventually, they found a Betty Crocker cake mix box concealed on a shelf with a suspicious substance inside. Maack described the smell as skunk-like.
Several employees complained of nausea, Maack said.
“Someone deliberately tried to sabotage Ponderosa Market,” she said, alleging it may be an act of revenge.
The store has 28 surveillance cameras and Maack said they have a clear picture of a suspect, but did not give a name.
The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said investigators picked up the suspicious box and were holding it in evidence. The case is under investigation, but no one has been arrested at this time, said Lt. Tim Scott.