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3 Sylmar Teen-Agers Held in Series of Bomb Blasts

Times Staff Writer

Three Sylmar teen-agers were in custody Wednesday in connection with a series of explosions of homemade bombs in the San Fernando Valley and other areas, Los Angeles police said.

Police confiscated nine “improvised explosive devices” shortly after the arrests late Monday of Mark LaCasella, 19; Melvin Patton, 19, and Timothy Imre, 18, on suspicion of possession of a destructive device, Lt. Don Beasley said. They were being held in the Foothill Division jail on $60,000 bail each.

Beasley, head of the police Criminal Conspiracy Section, said his office is investigating at least a dozen reported bomb explosions in the Valley and elsewhere extending beyond a three-month period, and that the investigation may grow.

“We still have crime reports coming in,” he said.

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Beasley would not give details on the series of explosions, but said some caused property damage. No injuries have been reported, he said.

Beasley said police are looking for three other suspects from the Valley and other areas, one of them a juvenile, in connection with those bombings. He said there could be more suspects as the investigation progresses.

He declined to speculate on a motive for the bombings.

Beasley said the confiscated bombs were being examined by the police bomb squad to determine what materials they contained and how powerful they were.

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He said it appears that the devices could have been lethal.

The three youths were arrested at about 11:30 p.m. on Monday after police received a call from a Sylmar resident complaining of suspicious behavior outside Sylmar High School.

Beasley said police found a bomb in the truck the three youths had parked on Phillippi Avenue, near the high school.

Eight more bombs were found in subsequent searches, he said.

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