Police ID suspect in Westside pipe bomb arrest

NBC Los Angeles

The Culver City bomb squad investigates potential explosives Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

Update 6:22 p.m.: Police ID suspect in Westside pipe bomb arrest

Authorities say a police bomb squad has detonated 17 homemade explosive devices found in a Los Angeles apartment after a routine traffic stop revealed a potentially dangerous liquid in a man's car.

Police say 29-year-old Robert Wilson was taken into custody and booked on felony possession of a destructive device.

Authorities believe the man was acting alone, and said there were no apparent links to terrorism.

A police spokesman says Wilson "appears to be an individual who was just very curious with explosive devices and then manufactured them."

Police say officers stopped Wilson for improper vehicle registration on Tuesday night and spotted a clear liquid that was worrisome.

Officers also found a gun and narcotics. That discovery prompted the search of the man's apartment. The complex and three surrounding buildings were evacuated Wednesday, and several blocks were sealed off.

Update 3:37 p.m.: LAPD arrests Westside LA man after possible explosives found in his car, apartment

A police bomb squad was detonating homemade explosive devices found in an apartment on Wednesday after a traffic stop revealed a potentially dangerous liquid in a man's car, authorities said.

The man remained in custody as police evacuated several buildings and destroyed at least four devices. Authorities believe the man was acting alone, and said there were no apparent links to terrorism.

"This appears to be an individual who was just very curious with explosive devices and then manufactured them," police spokesman Sgt. Frank Preciado said.

The bomb squad went to an apartment complex in the Palms neighborhood of west Los Angeles after officers stopped the man for improper vehicle registration on Tuesday night and spotted a clear liquid that was concerning, police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.

Officers also found a gun and narcotics, and the man was arrested. His name was not immediately released.

That discovery prompted the search of the man's apartment. The complex and three surrounding buildings were evacuated, and several blocks were sealed off.

Officers were taking the explosive devices to a closed off street and disarming them, fire Capt. Jaime Moore said.

"They've created a bunker in order to shelter any shrapnel or debris that may fly with the detonation," Moore said.

The man had not yet been booked because investigators were still determining the extent of any possible crimes, Lopez said.

Residents were directed to a nearby shelter during the evacuation.

Marion Firnhaber said she grabbed a book and a banana and was out the door of her apartment.

"I came outside and there were so many policemen, I thought, 'Nobody's going to get away with anything,'" she said.

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Associated Press writer Raquel Dillon contributed from Los Angeles.

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