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Foreclosed home apparently booby-trapped

May 13, 2009 7:22:33 AM PDT
Bomb disposal experts are at a foreclosed home in Riverside on Wednesday that was apparently booby-trapped. Several suspicious devices were also located on the property.Realtor Ken Kelley was on the property inspecting the house on the 1400 block of Orange Street when he saw what appeared to be pipe bombs at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers arrested the former homeowner, identified as 42-year-old Daniel Gherman from Riverside.

Bomb squads detonated one of several devices found on the property. The device was apparently a fake bomb, but they also found what appeared to be a booby trap.

Residents in the area were evacuated for a short time.

Experts are still working to make sure there are no more dangerous devices in or around the house, and they are concerned the house may be booby-trapped inside.

Kelley said there were tripwires inside the home.

"He had some chains up on the ceiling with fishing wire connected to them so if you hit it, it would swing down, hit you," he said.

Police do not know what other kind of traps may be set up inside the home.

Police said the home was in foreclosure, and neighbors said even after Gherman was kicked out, he was still breaking back in to the home.

"I don't know if they were taking things or putting things or whichever," said neighbor Kimberly Vichkon.

"We always expected like drugs because that man had people coming in and out of there all the time," Vichkon said.

Neighbors said they are worried because children play in the area often.

"I was kind of scared for the kids and stuff. They're around here all the time riding their bikes," said neighbor Dan Frakes.

Frakes said there were several calls to the police in the past about junk in the backyard.

Residents can only guess what was going on inside the home, and for now, police are also guessing, and when they do go in the home, it will be slowly and carefully.

Even though the pipe bombs outside the home turned out to be fake, Gherman is still facing felony charges, and more charges may be added, depending on what authorities find inside.

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