LAKEWOOD -- A man who had explosive devices planted inside tunnels dug underneath his Lakewood home was arrested Tuesday morning by authorities from several agencies.

About 20 homes near the 5200 block of Iroquois Avenue were evacuated for several hours while officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department searched the home and cleared the scene at about 8 p.m. Residents were kept away, however, for several more hours pending further investigation.

The incident began at about 8:30 a.m. when an arrest warrant was served on a suspect, whose name was not released Tuesday.

The suspect was on active community supervision status for assault with a deadly weapon and had prior arrests for possession of narcotics, possession of a deadly weapon, and being ex-felon in possession of a deadly weapon, according to Sgt. Rich Peña of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

When the deputies arrived at the home, the suspect refused to exit and hid in a crawl space underneath the home.

The suspect ignored commands to exit the residence, Pena said. A containment area was established and the Special Enforcement Bureau's Canine Units were called to the scene.

Authorities made numerous announcements for the suspect to surrender, but to no avail. After several hours, the deputies deployed non-lethal devices and the suspect surrendered without incident.


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While searching the home for further evidence, deputies located a make-shift door hatch which led to an underground tunnel beneath the residence, Pena said. The tunnels were searched and found to contain what appeared to be explosive devices.

Surrounding residents were evacuated and the Sheriff's Arson/Explosive Detail was called around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The devices were rendered safe about 2 hours later and the evacuation lifted.

The suspect's name is being withheld pending further investigation.

It is unclear whether residents were warned at all of the potential danger before the evacuation.