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Dos Palos man finds pipe bomb in field

DOS PALOS -- A Dos Palos resident found a pipe bomb Wednesday afternoon in a field near his mobile home and put it in a garbage can, not thinking it was real.

It was.

Sgt. Jim Pacheco of the Merced County Sheriff's Department said the Merced Police Department's bomb squad moved the 8-inch-long device to a dirt pit in the 20000 block of Reynolds Avenue and then detonated it. It turned out the bomb packed a considerable punch.

"It made quite a loud bang, a big concussion," Pacheco said. "At this point we have no suspects but are continuing to investigate."

The homeowner alerted the sheriff's department, which called bomb squad members. The pipe bomb was made of PVC pipe and had caps on both ends with a fuse, Pacheco said.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the man's call about 3:30 p.m. and the bomb was detonated about 6:30 p.m. No one was hurt in the incident.

Pacheco said if people see something suspicious, such as a pipe bomb, they shouldn't touch it and alert authorities right away.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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