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Juveniles suspected of making, setting off dangerous bombs

Juvenile justice authorities are considering whether to pursue charges against three local teens accused of using toilet cleaner to make dangerous bombs.

Gresham police interviewed the three suspects - all of whom are 15 years old - on Aug. 16, and released them to their parents, said Sgt. Wally Coon, Gresham police spokesman.

The boys - two from Gresham and one from Welches - caused more than $1,000 damage to a vehicle when they detonated a bomb inside the car at a movie theater on Stark Street.

In another incident, they are suspected of setting off a bomb outside a car in a parking lot at Mt. Hood Community College. The bomb exploded as the vehicle's owner was walking up to the vehicle, but the owner was not injured.

The suspects also threw a bomb near a crowd of boys in the 5000 block of Southeast 22nd Street in Gresham. The bomb went off, showering one boy's backpack with molten metal, Coon said.

The crowd of boys identified the suspects, which is how police apprehended them, Coon said.

Police suspect the three juveniles also are responsible for bombings involving a mailbox in the 3000 block of Southeast 282nd Avenue and on the grounds of Kelly Creek Elementary School.

The boys used a toilet bowl cleaner called the Works, strips of aluminum foil and plastic bottles to create the bombs, also known as Works Bombs. They learned how to make them by watching YouTube, Coon said.

Chemicals in the cleaner react with the metal, creating heat and gases that explode. The heat also melts the aluminum foil, creating molten metal that can cause serious injury to those detonating the bomb or others nearby.

Coon encourages parents to check Internet histories on home computers to see what their children are reading about online. Look for toilet cleaner and aluminum foil in your teen's bedroom; also be aware of plastic bottle remnants that appear shredded, especially if there are droplets of metal nearby.

Anyone with information on these bombings or similar bombings is asked to call the Gresham Police Department at 503-618-2318.