Friday, May 17, 2013

Potentially explosive devices found in L.A. apartment

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? A police bomb squad searched an apartment Wednesday afternoon after finding explosive material in a man's car and potentially explosive devices in his apartment.

The bomb squad went to the apartment complex in the Palms neighborhood of an area of the city known as Westside after officers stopped a man for improper vehicle registration Tuesday night and spotted a clear liquid that was concerning, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Lopez. They also found a gun and narcotics, and the man was arrested.

An analysis of the liquid determined there was "an explosive component" to it, Lopez said.

That discovery led to Wednesday's search of the man's apartment, where multiple homemade devices were found that might be explosive. No search warrant was involved because the man gave consent and the situation was urgent, Lopez said.

Four buildings were evacuated and several blocks sealed off.

"There are items out there that are highly concerning," Lopez said. "We don't know exactly what's in them at this time, but we're going to play it safe, assess it, remove it."

Lt. Andrew Neiman said the bomb squad was in the process of rendering safe several devices found in the building.

The man has not yet been formally booked because investigators are still determining the extent of the alleged crimes, Lopez said. He said it's likely he will be booked for felony possession of a destructive device.

Police are withholding the man's name until the investigation has concluded.

"He's not going anywhere," Lopez said.

LAPD spokesman Sgt. Frank Preciado said there was "no terrorist connection whatsoever."

"This appears to be an individual who was just very curious with explosive devices and then manufactured them," Preciado said.

During the evacuation, residents were directed to a nearby shelter being managed by the Red Cross.

Los Angeles firefighters and Culver City police are assisting the department. The LAPD's criminal conspiracy unit and Hazmat team are also investigating.


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