General Crime

2 Arrested for Possession of Explosive Device in Novato

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Two Novato residents were arrested Friday on suspicion of possessing explosive devices after police received multiple reports of explosions in Novato. Lt. Jamie Scardina, with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, said the devices were homemade and could have been used as weapons but declined to specify whether or not the devices in question could also be considered fireworks. Scardina did, however, say they could be compared to a quarter-stick of dynamite.

Laureen Mason, 43, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an explosive device, igniting an explosive device with the intent to intimidate and child endangerment. Robert Speer, 33, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an explosive device. Police started investigating when they received multiple reports of explosions in the area of Pacheco Avenue and Indian Valley Road

During a traffic stop at Arthur and Tyler streets at around 8 a.m. Friday, four of the devices were found a search of Mason’s vehicle. Traffic was shut down and nearby residents were advised to shelter in place while a bomb squad from the University of California at Berkeley Police Department rendered the devices safe.

Later that morning, The Marin County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at Mason’s home with the assistance of the Novato Police Department, the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force, the UC Berkeley bomb squad, the Novato Fire District and the Marin County Hazmat Team.

During the search of Mason’s home, an additional 87 devices were found along with potassium perchlorate, aluminum powder, and suspected methamphetamine. Mason has a five-year-old daughter, but she was not home when the warrant was served.

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