Man, 63, arrested for more than 150 mysterious explosions in Pasadena

Leanne Suter Image
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Man, 63, arrested for more than 150 mysterious explosions in Pasadena
Pasadena detectives were investigating a series of 150 explosions over a 2-year span when they heard a loud bang and saw the suspect's car drive through a cloud of smoke.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Pasadena police Monday announced the arrest of a 63-year-old man suspected of setting off more than 150 unidentified explosions over a nearly two-year span.

Art Leon Berian was arrested and booked last Thursday and now faces three felony counts of possession of explosives with intent to injure or intimidate, according to police. Bail was set at $1.5 million.

"I actually heard the bombs themselves. I live right down the street. We had neighbors who were terrified," Pasadena City Councilmember Felicia Williams said. "They would wake up in the middle of the night. We didn't know if it was a fire or explosion."

Most of the explosions happened in the middle of the night in the area around Allen Avenue and Washington Boulevard. Fourteen occurred over the last two weeks, police said.

Most of the incidents went unreported, but Pasadena's fire investigator began tracking the explosions caught on the city's ShotSpotter system. That let police narrow in on specific streets.

Video posted on Nextdoor captured two suspect vehicles registered to Berian. Detectives obtained video around 11:30 a.m. Thursday of a related explosion associated with their investigation.

As they were out collecting evidence, detectives heard a loud explosion in the area and observed a car drive through a white cloud of smoke nearby. They stopped the 2013 BMW and arrested Berian.

Berian was taken into custody and evidence was collected from his car related to that explosion, police said.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the explosions.

Anyone with information was urged to call the Pasadena Police Department at (626)744-4241. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit

City News Service contributed to this report.