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Explosives safely detonated in the Valley and Long Beach; 4 in custody

January 7, 2010 | 12:43 pm

Four people are in custody today after bomb squads detonated explosives in Sunland and Long Beach, authorities said.

Los Angeles police pulled over a car for a routine traffic stop at about 3 a.m. today in the 7800 block of Hillrose Street and discovered an explosive device inside, said LAPD Officer April Harding. The two occupants fled.

The L.A. bomb squad was called in, and witnesses heard a loud explosion about 6 a.m. The two occupants were found and taken into custody, Harding said. Additional information about charges or their identities was unavailable.

In Long Beach, police pulled over a car shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday at East Fourth Street and Orange Avenue for a traffic stop. Investigation led officers to serve a search warrant at one of the occupants’ homes in North Long Beach, said Nancy Pratt, spokeswoman for the city’s Police Department.

Later that night, police found an explosive device, two handguns, a rifle, ammunition, methamphetamine and marijuana in the 6800 block of Belhurst Avenue, Pratt said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad “rendered the device safe," she said. 

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that the bomb squad detonated a pipe bomb at 11:30 p.m.

Two Long Beach men, age 23 and 32, were taken into custody on charges of possessing narcotics, firearms and a destructive device, Pratt said. Information about their identities was not available.

-- Seema Mehta