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ATF ups reward to $5K for tips on 3 explosions in Vista

A day after three homemade devices detonated in Vista, authorities on Thursday upped a reward offer to $5,000 for tips leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

San Diego County Crime Stoppers initially offered a $1,000 reward, while the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday added an additional $4,000 to the potential reward.

The three explosions Wednesday did not cause injuries or property damage, and there were no obvious targets of the blasts, Sgt. Anthony Portillo of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department’s bomb/arson unit said Wednesday.

Portillo said the devices were homemade, and he issued a warning to stay away from suspicious-looking objects.

“If you see a device that seems suspicious or out of place in your neighborhood, do not touch, move or pick it up,” Portillo said in a news release Wednesday. “Call 911 immediately.”

Wednesday’s three explosions each “occurred in open areas and parking lots with no obvious target or motivation,” Portillo said. The blasts occurred within about three hours and about 1.25 miles of each other.

The first blast explosion was reported about 11:30 a.m. on East Vista Way near Anza Avenue; the second occurred about 1:25 p.m. on East Drive near North Santa Fe Avenue, a little more than a mile from the first; the last blast was reported around 2:40 p.m. on East Drive near Woodrail Drive, about a quarter-mile from the second blast.

“Two small fires were started by the explosions, but were quickly extinguished,” Portillo said Wednesday. “No one was hurt and there was no damage to property. No roads were closed or evacuations were ordered.”

Sheriff’s officials said no new explosions were reported Thursday, and the department’s bomb/arson unit was continuing to investigate along with the FBI and ATF.

Anyone with information about the explosions or the person or people responsible was urged to call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters can also submit information on the agency’s mobile app or online at sdcrimestoppers.org.



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