Pipe bomb explodes outside Glendale house; second bomb blown across street

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 6 at 10:45 AM

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The bomb squad and ATF agents converged on a Glendale neighborhood after a bomb exploded in front of a couple's home early Wednesday morning. But there wasn't just one bomb. What's more, this is not the first time -- or even second time -- the home has been a target.

It happened just before 1 a.m. According to Officer Tracey Breeden, this is the third time a homemade bomb has been placed in front of the home near 67th and Olive avenues.

Several residents, some of whom live more than a block away, reported hearing the explosion. They described it as "huge."

Officers discovered evidence of the explosion as soon as they arrived on the scene. Debris had been blown all over the driveway, into the garage, into the house, and even into a home across the street. The bomb had been placed in the driveway between two vehicles.

While the damage was significant, nobody was injured when the bomb went off.

That bomb, however, was not the only one planted at the home. It was just the only one that exploded. A second pipe bomb had been placed right next to the first one.

The detonation was so intense that the second pipe bomb flew through a window of a vacant home across the street. Like a missile, it had so much velocity that it shot across the room, through another wall and was found protruding from the exterior wall on the other side of the house, reported 3TV's Mike Watkiss.

The owners of that house moved out five months ago because of the previous explosions across the street.

"I was very scared," Lan Trina said. "I am lucky I moved out. Very lucky for me."

Federal agents confirmed that this particular Glendale home was targeted in a similar manner twice last summer. Those investigations never went anywhere.

Investigators do not believe this morning's incident was random, saying they think all three incidents are connected.

Investigators with the Glendale bomb squad and ATF are working together to try to determine exactly what kind of explosive was used and what other elements made up the bomb. All they have said so far is that this was some kind of homemade pipe bomb.

Agents and officers also are scouring the scene for evidence that might lead them to a suspect and trying to figure out why the couple might have been targeted.

"It's puzzling why these people are being targeted," said ATF Agent Tom Mangan, who described the device as "lethal."

"Quite frankly, we're lucky no one was killed," he said.

Detectives know that the couple serves on the neighborhood's HOA board and the husband works for the Deer Valley School District, but they are not sure if that has any connection to what happened Wednesday morning or last summer.

Mangan firmly stated that the three bombs at this Glendale home are in no way connected to the  flashlight bombs found throughout the Valley in recent months.

"I want to to state factually ... this is not related to that," he said. "There's no connection whatsoever with those flashlight bombs."

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