Anyone with information on the homemade bombs is asked to contact the sheriff's Yucaipa station at 909-790-3105.


YUCAIPA -- The city is being plagued by what authorities believe is a lone person making home-made bombs.

"Several residential properties have had mailboxes and property damage from homemade chemical bombs," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. "There isn't a specific pattern and the homes are scattered throughout Yucaipa."

On Wednesday morning, the sheriff's bomb and arson detail began to look into the latest incident, a possible chemical bomb that exploded last week around Seventh Street and Palm Drive.

The bombs, often containing a chemical cleaner, are placed inside a plastic beverage container with tin foil, which contributes to the chemical reaction, Bachman said.

Such explosive devices generally take a short time to go off but sometimes they fail to explode until it is picked up, which agitates it, causing it to explode in an unsuspecting person's hands, she said.

"Thankfully, nobody has been injured yet, but the potential for injury is extremely high," Bachman said. "We are not ruling anything or anyone out."

Residents say this has been going on for a year.

Diana Sanders and her family were sitting in their living room Friday night when they heard a loud bang outside.

"There's a lot of pranksters in the neighborhood so we just blew it off," she said. "This has been going on for the last year at my house."

Sanders found the remants of a bottle the next morning but didn't think about reporting the incident until she heard about other incidents in Yucaipa.

Both Sanders' and neighbor Vince Soisson's properties were hit with a chemical bomb on the same night back in April.

"We heard a big explosion and came out, didn't see anything - no cars racing away and nobody running," Soisson said. "The next day I looked closer to find remnants of a two-liter soda bottle."

Soisson said he worries that a family member could be injured.

Bachman said several recipes for such explosives made from household items can be found on the Internet.

An Internet search provided several websites on homemade chemical bombs, including several YouTube videos.

"The Internet has the highest level of protection, said Scott Talkov, an attorney with the Riverside law firm of Reid & Hellyer, which often deals with Internet issues, "as the Supreme Court has made that perfectly clear. The distinction of words compared to conduct is clearly distinguished by the highest court in the nation."

Detectives have no suspects, Bachman said.

Sheriff's officials caution residents not to touch, pick up or kick bottles filled with unknown fluids or objects.

Get a safe distance from the object and call 9-1-1 immediately, they say.

Anyone with information on the homemade bombs is asked to contact the sheriff's Yucaipa station at 909-790-3105.


Staff Writer Melissa Pinion-Whitt contributed to this report.

Contact Doug via email, by phone at 909-386-3925 or on Twitter @crimeshutterbug.