4 Dundalk teens charged in explosions of mailboxes

More arrests, reports of incidents expected

August 09, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Four teen-agers were charged yesterday in a string of mailbox bombs discovered early this week in Dundalk.

More charges and arrests are expected as Baltimore County police investigate and residents continue to report mailboxes that were blown up by the homemade explosives, said Sgt. Vickie Warehime, a department spokeswoman.

Robert Charles Preisendorfer, 19, of the 8200 block of Peach Orchard Road and two boys, both 17, were charged with four counts of using a destructive device. They were arrested late Wednesday.

A fourth teen-ager, a 15-year-old boy, turned himself in yesterday. He was charged with five counts of using a destructive device. All four suspects are from Dundalk. Because three of the suspects are juveniles, police did not release their names.

Police said they believe the teen-agers were "thrill-seeking." No one was injured. Police said four bombs, made from a plastic bottle filled with an explosive liquid, blew up in mailboxes, which were reduced to pieces of metal.

Police discovered one bomb before it detonated, Warehime said. A bomb squad technician shot pellets at the device to put holes in it and enable the vapors from the liquid to escape, police said. Although a neighbor said it looked as if the officer shot and missed it, police said the officer shot the bomb several times and was able to recover it as evidence.

Preisendorfer was being held at the county detention center on $300,000 bail yesterday. One of the 17-year-old boys was being held at Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Cub Hill. The two other juveniles were released into their parents' custody, police said.

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