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9 Pipe Bombs Found in Canyon

December 03, 1987

Nine homemade pipe bombs were found in Tierrasanta Canyon behind Deportola Middle School on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard after a two-day search of the canyon area, the Metro Arson Strike Team reported Wednesday.

Fire Investigator Don Necochea said someone told the department about an exploded pipe bomb found in the canyon. Investigators searched for three hours Monday, and on Tuesday they found nine pipe bombs. Eight had already exploded and one had not, Necochea said.

Given the "crude" construction of the pipe bombs, Necochea said it was evident that they had been made by juveniles. He said the pipes were copper, galvanized and plastic.

Ida Cheney, a San Diego Fire Department spokeswoman, said investigators also found evidence of two explosions in large tin containers, as well as remnants of two Molotov cocktails, a name given to explosive gasoline-filled glass bottles with a rag as a wick.

Necochea said a thorough search of the area was made and no further investigations will be made unless the Fire Department receives more complaints.

He said strike team officials are inspecting the pipe bombs as well as looking for leads to their builders.

In July, Michael Kevin Ham, 17, of Escondido, was killed when a homemade pipe bomb exploded in his hands as he and two friends were driving in the Del Cerro neighborhood of San Diego.

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