Teens busted for explosive stunt

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LAPD: Kids ‘trying to keep entertained’ might have learned hard lesson

By Tris DeRoma

Three Los Alamos teens were recently arrested for terrorizing a Los Alamos neighborhood for an hour on the evening of Oct. 8. 

According to eyewitnesses at the scene of two attacks, the teens were tossing homemade chemical bombs at them out their car window. 

Though they didn’t know where they might strike, police were already aware something might be happening. Earlier in the evening, a staffer at Smith’s grocery store called the police and reported what the teens had bought, suspecting that they might be use the ingredients to make chemical bombs.

According to police, the teens created bottle bombs using “The Works” toilet bowl cleaner and pellets of aluminum foil, mixed together inside a plastic bottle. Apparently, when the tin foil and toilet cleaner are combined, it creates a violent chemical explosion due to the hydrochloric acid in the cleaner reacting with the aluminum.

The three young men tossed their homemade bombs into at least two yards during their spree.

In one incident, a witness said the teens tossed the bomb near his kids as they were returning from a neighbor’s house, the bomb went off just five feet away from the victims, according to the police report.

Police finally caught up to the bomb throwers when a police officer saw a car that matched the description of the vehicle they were driving,  heading down Diamond Drive in the opposite direction of the police officer. They were pulled over into the parking lot of Sullivan Field, where the car was searched and the teens were questioned.

They apparently surrendered all the suspicious materials voluntarily. When asked what they were doing with the bombs, one of the teens reportedly said “We were just trying to keep entertained for the evening.”

According to LAPD Capt. Randy Foster, the police take these types of incidents very seriously.

Foster recalled an incident earlier in his career where two teens injured themselves doing something similar. 

“It’s not that we’re trying to be mean and get kids in trouble for something they think is innocent fun,” Foster said. “I don’t think they realize they could get seriously hurt playing around with household chemicals.

 Foster also thanked Smith’s for alerting them to the danger. “I think they were just trying to be good stewards of the community in trying to protect our kids, just like we are,” Foster said. “Once they realized what was going on, I don’t think they wanted anyone to get hurt.”