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Police Urge Everyone To Watch Out For Bottle Bombs

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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A renewed warning to homeowners from police: Watch out for bottle bombs in your area.

Gigi Barnett explains police say there’s an easy way to identify them.

Donald Tesar, 80, is often in his yard weeding, mowing and picking up trash.

“I see something like that laying around and I say, `Oh, I’ll pick that up and throw it in the garbage,'” Tesar said.

That’s exactly what most homeowners would do. But last month on Tesar’s block in Nottingham, one of his neighbors picked up a bottle bomb right on their lawn.

“I tell you, it’s a shame,” Tesar said. “These people around here all try to keep it up as nice as they can, you know what I mean?”

It was the second time in two months that police received reports of the bombs. Now police are warning neighbors to stay away.

The bombs are created by pouring household chemicals like Drano and tin foil into a bottle. The caps are screwed back on and placed on driveways, mailboxes and in gardens.

“The chemical reaction inside the closed bottle creates too much gas for the bottle to contain and then there’s an explosion,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County Police spokesperson.

Police say a bottle bomb can explode within a matter of seconds from the time that someone picks it up. That blast can be so intense, it can cause second-degree burns.

“These devices would be identifiable because many times the bottle would be swollen. It would be misshapen in some way as a result of the expanding gases and, of course, the bottle would be capped,” Armacost said.

“From now on, I’ll keep an eye out for that kind of stuff,” Tesar said.

And that’s exactly what police are asking.

Last year, more than a dozen bottle bombs detonated in Baltimore County. No arrests have been made yet in either of this year’s cases.

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