Detonating a ‘prank’ bomb carries stiff criminal penalties, police say

The Anaheim Police Department issued a general warning to teen “pranksters” who detonate chemical reaction bombs: Do so at your own peril.

It’s a felony to explode the do-it-yourself bombs, which are commonly known as MacGyver bombs, Acid bombs, Drano bombs or Works bombs. 

Police say they’ve noticed a spike in the number of teens toying with the explosives, which are created by mixing volatile household chemicals inside a closed plastic water or soda bottle.

But the the bombs are no joking matter.

“People have suffered serious injuries, ranging from severe chemical burns to eye injuries,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “If anybody sees anything that resembles one of these chemical reaction bombs, move away from the bottle and call police immediately.”

The penalty for detonating one: up to six years in prison. The penalty is even greater if somebody is injured. For example, if the explosive causes “great bodily injury,” such as taking an eye out, a suspect could face life in prison.

In Anaheim, two such bombs exploded in August. 

Although nobody was injured in either incident, investigators are actively working the cases.

In April, five teens were arrested in Lake Forest on suspicion of making the bombs, and in March two south Orange County schools were placed on lockdown after bombs were detonated.

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