Bomb-making popular among SLO teens, juvenile suspects claim

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Four 17-year-old males, all of San Luis Obispo, were arrested late in the evening on April 2 after being linked to an incident earlier that night in which an explosive device was detonated in the direction of a person on Pacific Street near downtown San Luis Obispo, according to police.

After admitting to the crime, the juvenile suspects told police that making explosive devices is a popular trend among high school students in the area. A recent surge in the area of similar reports – at least 10 calls reporting homemade explosives being detonated in San Luis Obispo since Jan. 1 – collaborate the teenagers’ claims, say police.

“Chemical bombs are made from easy to purchase volatile household chemicals,” a police department press release said. “When these ingredients are combined, the internal gas pressure generated from the chemical reaction causes the container to expand and explode. This explosion can cause serious injury or death.”

No one was injured from the explosion on April 2, police said.

At about 10:30 p.m. on April 2, a man walking on Pacific Street was sprayed with a liquid from the window of a passing sport utility vehicle, police officials said. The SUV’s occupants then threw a white powder on the victim.

When the victim confronted the subjects, the front passenger opened his car door and brandished a knife in a “threatening manner,” police said. Then a small plastic bottle was thrown from the car containing explosive chemicals. The chemical reaction caused the bottle to explode.

Shortly after, an officer stopped a vehicle on S. Higuera Street and Madonna Road matching the description of the SUV given to police from witnesses of the earlier incident on Pacific Street, police said.

The four suspects were arrested after police found materials capable of making nine similar explosive devices were found in the car, said Sgt. John Bledsoe, police department spokesman. Also, a knife believed to be the one brandished at the crime scene was found on one of the juvenile suspects.

The four suspects admitted their involvement in the crime and possession of the explosive devices, police said.

They also admitted that “they used explosive devices at friends’ houses and would ignite them in the street,” Bledsoe said.

The police department is not revealing what the liquid or white powder were that the suspects covered the victim with, or the ingredients of the explosive devices in fear of “copy-cat crimes,” Bledsoe said.

Two of the teen suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of materials with intent to make explosive or destructive devices. The other two juveniles were arrested for suspicion of possession of destructive devices or explosives. One of the suspects was also being charged with drawing/exhibiting a deadly weapon in a threatening manner.

The four youths were turned over to San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Services Center. The names of the suspects are not being released because they are juveniles.

Bomb-making popular among SLO teens, juvenile suspects claim was last modified: July 12th, 2012 by admin
Categories: San Luis Obispo


  1. JJ
    JJ 7 April, 2010, 01:59

    The “volatile household chemical” that is “igniting” is probably dry ice. Obviously these kids are being idiots for messing around with this stuff downtown, but the story and the quotes from the police are too over the top – trying to make these kids sound like diabolical plotters.

    Reply this comment
  2. Jason
    Jason 7 April, 2010, 02:06

    James Damschroder – What’s up with the fearmongering bovine manure story? I guess you have to gin it up to make the grade – but man, how about a balanced story rather than the good and evil / black and white reporting you have done here?

    Reply this comment

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