Two arrested after small bombs placed inside Dundalk mailboxes

No injuries in incidents

3 other suspects sought

August 08, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Two suspects were in custody last night and three others were being sought in the planting of small bombs that destroyed several mailboxes in Dundalk, Baltimore County police reported.

In announcing the arrests of a man, 19, and a male juvenile, 17, police said they "believe the acts were random and the motive was thrill seeking." Names of the suspects were not immediately disclosed.

Police said they knew of four small bombs placed in mailboxes in Dundalk over several days, but believed that there had been others and asked that people who found them contact the department.

No one was injured in the reported incidents.

Three of the bombs, described by police as plastic bottles filled with an explosive liquid, but without timing devices or wiring, blew up at night. One did not detonate, said Sgt. Vickie Warehime, a police spokeswoman.

Police notified Dundalk postal carriers about the devices yesterday. The U.S. Postal Inspector's office also was helping police in their investigation, Warehime said.

The first device exploded Monday in the 8200 block of Longpoint Road. A damaged mailbox was discovered about 9 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Two other devices went off Tuesday night or early yesterday morning -- one in the 8000 block of Stansbury Road, the other in the 1900 block of Robinwood Road, where police later discovered an unexploded device on the lawn near an open mailbox.

Warehime said she wouldn't describe how police "rendered safe" the bomb that didn't explode because the information could be used to counter bomb squad techniques.

Mary Perseghin of the 1900 block of Robinwood Road said she saw bomb squad technicians working on a bomb on the ground next to her niece's mailbox yesterday morning. "They were shooting some sort of BB or pellet at it," she said. "But they kept missing it."

A few minutes later, Perseghin said, officers picked it up.

Perseghin, 84, who has lived on Robinwood Road since 1941, said she wasn't worried about her safety as she watched the process from her front door. "It's the first time anything like this has happened here," she said.

The device apparently fell out of her niece's mailbox. The niece, Rosemary Perrot, said she was glad she didn't stop to pick up the device, which to her looked like a balloon, as she was heading to work.

Perrot noticed that Sally McClelland's mailbox down the street was in pieces on the lawn. McClelland heard an explosion about 2 a.m. yesterday. "It woke me up," she said, "but I just thought it was a firecracker -- a big firecracker."

Another woman, of the 8200 block of Longpoint Road, found her mailbox had exploded Monday, but police said she didn't report it until Tuesday. "Because no one got hurt, people may not have thought they needed to call police," Warehime said. "But now that we have four of these, we especially need people to report these incidents so we can see what kind of pattern we're looking at."

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