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Mailboxes explode in West Hills area

July 10, 2009 7:49:59 AM PDT
Police investigate on Friday after mailboxes exploded at four different homes in West Hills.Three suspects have been into custody in connection with the explosions.

Police received several calls from residents about a mailbox explosion in the 23000 block of Welby Way at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Kristin Vargas was reading to her kids at her home on Welby Way around 9 p.m. when she heard an explosion. She went outside to find her mailbox blown to smithereens.

"There was stuff smoking on my grass and the mailbox was all the way across the street," said Vargas, who added that the incident frightened her family.

While officers were on scene, three more calls came in. One for a home on Highlander Road, one on Balmoral Lane and the fourth explosion went off on the 8500 block of Farralone Avenue; where a resident spotted the suspects and called police. Because several officers were already in the area, they were able to respond quickly.

Authorities believe vandals drove to random locations in the neighborhood and placed explosive devices, known as dry ice bombs, inside the mailboxes. Police believe the suspects used 2 liter soda bottles to fashion the bombs.

Three male suspects were spotted from a helicopter as they were trying to leave the area.

The explosions left debris scattered on streets and yards, but no one was hurt in the incidents.

"I think that's just stupid and immature because they were saying that if it were just a bunch of kids, there's other things to do than to put dry ice bombs in other people's mailboxes," said Gabrielle Kopera, an area resident.

The names of the suspects have not been released, but at least two of them were booked and could face serious charges.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Topanga station at (818) 756-4800.

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