Explosive Devices Prompt Anaheim Police Warning

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police are alerting residents to be cautious of explosive chemical devices after finding a series of them in various neighborhoods in recent weeks.

"I consider this to be an extremely serious problem," Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Conklin said Wednesday. "A lot of people who are experimenting with this are young teenagers and they don't realize the dangers involved."

Authorities have found unexploded devices made out of plastic soda bottles and chemicals since October at city schools, streets and park areas, Conklin said.

He did not know the exact number of devices found, but said it was fewer than a dozen. Conklin stressed that the presence of any explosive is a public hazard, which can cause serious injury or even death.

"They can seriously disfigure or injure anyone near this or even within 100 feet or so when it detonates," he said. "They are seriously unpredictable. These bombs are basically a chemical reaction that could detonate at any time, whether at the hands of the person making it or 30 minutes later."

According to the California Penal Code, it is a felony to possess such devices or bomb-making materials with the intention to make explosives. Conklin noted that possession of bombs can lead to lengthy terms in state prison, especially if people possess them near schools or other public property, or if someone is hurt.

"People have to understand that this is a not only an extremely serious crime, but that it is a criminal offense with serious ramifications," he said.

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