JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Jefferson County sheriff's officials are warning people after someone exploded homemade bottle bombs in Easton Park near Littleton on Friday.
Sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer said if people find a bottle bomb, they should not pick it up. Instead call the sheriff’s office at 303-277-0211.
Often made in a 2-liter bottle, the bombs contain a volatile mixture of household cleaning chemicals that, when shaken, create pressure that explodes the bottle.
"You could lose a limb. A 2-liter soda bottle, you could lose a hand," Deputy Mark Miller of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad said during a Friday afternoon news briefing at Easton Park.
On Thursday, a plastic bottle bomb was found lying on the ground outside the Edge Ice Arena at 6623 S. Ward St. near Littleton. The bottle was swollen with gas, but didn't exploded, Miller said.
On Friday, Jefferson County Park and Recreation employees discovered an exploded bottle bomb at Easton Park, located at 12819 W. Coal Mine Ave., which is near Edge Ice Arena. Searching the area, deputies found three more exploded bottle bombs. One of the exploded bottles was made of glass, leaving sharp shards on a parking lot.
"They're actually really easy to make," Miller said. "That's part of the problem, making them (young people) might feel like it's a science project or it's fun or it's exciting. However, legislation has recently changed. It is now a felony to produce these things."
And tinkering with the unpredictable devices is hazardous, he warned.
"You don't know how it's going to -- or when it's going to -- go off," Miller said. "It's a timing thing. It has to do with the chemicals that are mixed in it versus the air temperature. There's a lot of factors that will affect this device."
The danger is a child or an adult finding an unexploded bottle bomb lying in the park and curiously picking it up. The movement can mix the chemicals, causing a 2-liter bottle to swell with expanding gases to a water melon-shape until it explodes.
"Part of the problem is if they don't explode and they're left behind, they can be picked up or injure an innocent person," Miller said.
If anyone has information regarding these bombs, they are asked to call the sheriff’s office tip line at 303-271-5612.