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Orange County Digest

Santa Ana : Pipe Bomb Discovered Behind Computer Store

July 15, 1986|Nancy Wride

A crudely fashioned, foot-long pipe bomb was discovered behind a computer store Monday morning, prompting a brief evacuation of several shops.

Police said the explosive device was defused without incident, and workers returned to their shops a short time later.

Employees of InaComp Computer Center at 3827 Bristol St., who discovered the bomb as they arrived for work, said they had not received bomb threats and did not believe they were the target of an attack.

"With all the trash bins out here and people going through the trash for cardboard and bottles, it could have been anybody," Francine Garton, a saleswoman at the firm, said after the brief "excitement" Monday. "We figure it was just some kids driving by and tossing it. . . . We've also had car stereos ripped off in that back parking strip."

Police Lt. Bob Chavez said he could not comment on whether investigators believe the metal device had been randomly discarded behind the building or placed there intentionally.

Garton said she drove to the back of the building and parked near the shop's rear door, where most employees enter. She initially thought the bomb was "just an old piece of pipe."

But a co-worker, Jim Marx, examined the device and then phoned police about 10:30 a.m.

Sgt. Mike Bailey and Officer Don Wolfram arrived, studied the pipe "from a distance" and called the Orange County Sheriff's Department's hazardous devices squad.

Using a robot-like device, the explosives team defused the bomb and took it away for further study, police said.

Garton said the pipe bomb was about a foot long and three inches around, with both ends covered.

"It was kind of tense there for a while, because my brand new car (a white Cadillac) was parked right next to the thing," Garton said, "and I thought it was going to be a goner. . . ."

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