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[whitespace] Deputies arrest teen from Saratoga for possession of pipe bombs, hazardous materials

Saratoga--Santa Clara County Sheriff deputies arrested a Saratoga High School student Jan. 5 for possession of two pipe bombs and other destructive materials. Deputies were first informed of the teenager's bomb-making activities when his parents notified authorities of their suspicions.

The 17-year-old was already on probation according to sheriff officials, and was taken into custody without incident in the SHS main office.

Sheriff spokesman Sgt. John Hirokawa would not comment on why the boy was on probation. Officials also declined to name the teenager because he is a juvenile.

The parents consented to a search of their home by the Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department and the Sheriff's office. Investigators found ingredients for making bombs and also found two pipe bombs, which were safely removed by a Sheriff's office bomb disposal expert

"They realized this was inappropriate behavior and contacted authorities," Hirokawa said. "I give a lot of credit to the parents for doing this."

Deputy Ron Breuss said the bombs were made from a plastic pipe and homemade powder. Officials believe the boy had been experimenting with the bomb materials for approximately six months based on information from an encyclopedia and other literature.

Hirokawa said he did not know what type of destruction the pipe bombs could have caused or what the teenager planned to do with them.

SHS principal Kevin Skelly said that he can't remember an event like this happening with a student at the school.

As is standard school district procedure, Sheriff's deputies went to the school's main office, and the student was called in for questioning, Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District Superintendent Cynthia Ranii said.

"Our role as a school is to cooperate," Ranii said. "This is a police incident, and the event is not related to school activities."

The teenager was booked into Juvenile Hall, where he is awaiting a court hearing.
Michelle Alaimo

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