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Howard Co. Police Alert Residents To Pranksters Setting Off Bottle Bombs

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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)– It’s a dangerous prank that has people posting videos all over the Internet.

But after a child was almost hit by a bottle bomb, Monique Griego says police are taking notice.

Explosives detonated right in the middle of a neighborhood. Videos of people setting off homemade bombs are the latest prank to take the Internet by storm.

“What we’re finding is that juveniles are using plastic soda bottles to make what they refer to as bottle bombs,” Sherry Llewellyn, spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department, said.

The bottles contain a combination of corrosive chemicals that when mixed can explode.

“What we’re seeing mostly is that these are being put into mailboxes and exploding the mailboxes, and being put in residential communities,” Llewellyn said. “We had one that exploded in a driveway.”

But last week on Thunder Hill Road in Columbia, this practical joke turned very dangerous.

“We heard pops and I thought they were gunshots,” Joe and Betty Andrew, who live in the neighborhood, said.

Behind the Andrews’ home a bottle bomb went off and narrowly missed a child.

‘It didn’t hit him but it scared him,” they explained.

Neighbors tell WJZ a little boy was playing on the fence when the bomb went off. They believe some teens or kids might have been hiding off in the woods waiting for it to explode.

So far, there have been five cases of explosions, and in February police arrested three teens.

The Andrews say they want pranksters to realize police aren’t joking.

“We hope it will scare them enough to not plant them around here anymore. Not around here.”

Police say people caught setting off bottle bombs can face felony charges. They add that anyone who sees anything suspicious should call 911.

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