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Explosive devices found in Marines' pickup nonlethal, police say

April 6, 2012 |  9:01 am

Two Marines detained
As Naval investigators look into why two Marines were driving in Redondo Beach with explosive devices in their pickup, a police captain said Friday he didn't believe the pair intended to harm anyone.

“These devices were not C-4; they were not dynamite,” said Capt. Jeff Hink of the Redondo Beach Police Department. “They were practice-type devices and wouldn’t have done a lot of damage if they had gone up.”

Officers found the pickup parked in the parking lot of the South Bay Galleria on Hawthorne Boulevard.

Devon Gajewski, 24 and Thomas Bazer, 20, were taken into custody by Naval Criminal Investigative Services agents. The active-duty Marines stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms were standing next to the pickup and admitted to having the devices inside, officials said.

Officers cordoned off the parking lot and evacuated a Living Spaces store and an adjacent Target and Nordstrom Rack store. The L.A. County sheriff's bomb squad employed a robot to investigate the devices. They recovered 10 artillery simulator training aids-–nonlethal stun grenades, according to some accounts-– from the truck.

The devices are similar to police "flash bang" devices and are commonly used in training to get soldiers used to the sound of explosives.

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-- Thomas Curwen

Photo: A pickup truck is examined using a robot. Credit: KTLA-TV.

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