Police arrest San Luis Obispo boys accused of making chemical bombs

Police arrested four boys accused of making chemical bombs — one of which was allegedly thrown at someone — late Friday night in San Luis Obispo.

The local 17-year-olds were caught along South Higuera Street near Madonna Road soon after an incident reported near Pacific and Archer streets about 10:30 p.m., the San Luis Obispo Police Department reported on Saturday.

Police say that a man who was walking along Pacific, near Archer, told them that boys in a sport-utility vehicle sprayed him with an unidentified liquid, and then threw an unidentified white powder on him.

When the man confronted the boys, the SUV’s front passenger opened his door and brandished a knife, according to police.

As the SUV drove off, a boy threw a small plastic bottle filled with household chemicals, police said. The chemical reaction then caused the bottle to explode.

Along South Higuera, officers pulled over a vehicle that matched the “older model” SUV described by some witnesses along Pacific. Officers found nine similar devices in the vehicle, according to police.

The boys were taken into custody and then held at the county Juvenile Services Center.

Police say that chemical bombs such as those found with the boys are made from easy-to-buy volatile household chemicals. When some ingredients are combined, the internal gas pressure generated from the chemical reaction causes the container to expand and then explode.

Since January, police have responded to about 10 calls where similar devices were reportedly detonated. No one was injured in those reported incidents.