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18 Razor Blades Are Found in Play Area

Crime: The discovery on Main Beach in Laguna follows a phone tip that young people were planning to do harm.

April 29, 2002|CHRISTINE HANLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Eighteen single-edged razor blades were found partly buried in the sand at a playground in Laguna Beach on Sunday, just hours after police received a tip that a group of youths were headed to that area to "hurt people."

An unidentified young woman who called police about 4 a.m. Sunday said some of her friends--eight males and possibly a female--told her they were going to Main Beach.

She said the friends did not say exactly what they planned to do when they got there, only that it involved injuring people, according to police Sgt. Greg Bartz.

A patrol officer was immediately sent there, but a search turned up no signs of foul play.

But at 8 a.m., a resident told a city worker at the beach that he had found 17 razor blades partially buried in the sand near the playground.

Officers sent to the scene found one more blade, police said.

The popular playground, on the south end of the beach, was secured while the sand was raked and scanned with a metal detector. It was reopened after authorities deemed it safe.

Police said they do not believe that this discovery "is in any way related" to similar ones in other Orange County playgrounds over the past year.

In those cases, razor blades were placed on swings, in sandboxes and on slides at several parks in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

No one was injured, but the culprit or culprits were never found. The discoveries frayed the communities' nerves and sense of safety. For a while, patrols were beefed up as some parents restricted their children to playing in their own yards.

Laguna police are asking that anyone with information call them at (949) 497-0701.

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