bc-081101-pipeline-tp

A 1.8-metre-wide crater left after an explosion in October 2008, about 50 kilometres east of Dawson Creek in northern B.C. ((CBC))

After five months of quiet, people in northeastern B.C. seem to believe the so-called "EnCana bomber" won't strike again.

The RCMP have had hundreds of tips, spoken to hundreds of people and hired more officers for the area, but no one has been arrested for bombing EnCana Corp. natural gas pipelines.

"I think they know who did it and they can't prove it, and that's what's stopping him [the bomber]," said Alf Mortensen, who lives on a farm near Tomslake, B.C., where the first of six bombs aimed at pipelines exploded in October 2008.

The most recent attacks were on July 1 and July 4 of this year, but no one has been hurt.

"The guy's gone. He's gone," said Tom Adair, who works in the area around the gas wells.  "He's disappeared. They can't catch him. They're not going to catch him."

In July, EnCana doubled its reward maximum to $1 million for information leading to the prosecution of anyone responsible for the pipeline attacks.

No one has come forward to claim the money, but it quickly became a big topic of conversation.

"There was finger-pointing at each other, just jokingly," said Peter Kut, a town councillor in Pouce Coupe, B.C. "Oh, here comes the bomber."

But Kut says even $1 million won't make people turn in a friend or neighbour.

'Say, for example, you ratted on me, and I was the bomber. What will your friends say?' —Peter Kut, town councillor, Pouce Coupe, B.C.

"Say, for example, you ratted on me, and I was the bomber. What will your friends say?"

The story and the reward have been front-page fodder in the Dawson Creek Daily News, where Dan Przybylski is the publisher. The actual value of the reward is in question, he said.

"The amount is at the discretion of EnCana, so if they feel that it's a $100,000 tip, then you're only going to get $100,000."

Despite the lull in the bombings, police say people should not get complacent.    

"We're very grateful and relieved that there hasn't been a seventh bombing," said Sgt Tim Shields of the RCMP. "But we cannot make the assumption that there won't be any future attempts at additional bombings."