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Five Bombs Found in Fremont, Calif.

March 31, 1998

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) _ Four bombs have exploded in two days at Fremont homes, one of them belonging to the police chief, and a fifth device was disarmed.

Guards were assigned to city officials. No one has been injured.

The first device, a fire bomb, went off before dawn Sunday at the home of Police Chief Craig Steckler, starting a fire on the front porch and ripping a hole in the roof.

Later Sunday, a second incendiary device was found and disarmed at the home of City Councilman Bob Wasserman, Fremont’s police chief from 1976 to 1992.

``Somebody’s trying to make a statement against past and present police leaders and causing harm to their families,″ said police Capt. Mike Lanam.

Sunday night, two pipe bombs blew up in the crawl space of a new house, said Tracy Hite of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in San Francisco. The house had extensive damage.

Around the corner from that house, a third pipe bomb blew up Monday at a house under construction.

Monday’s explosion came as a bomb squad was trying to disarm the device by remote control; there was no immediate explanation whether they destroyed it intentionally or if it blew up in spite of their work.

Investigators had not yet found a solid link between the fire and pipe bombs, police said. A motive also was not known.

``We’re baffled by this whole thing and a little bit unnerved,″ Lt. Gus Arroyo said Monday.

Steckler and Wasserman were placed under around-the-clock guard, and police were posted at the homes of the mayor and other council members.

Wasserman said he couldn’t think of anyone who might have a grudge against him or Steckler.

``We’ve been talking, and things are in kind of a flux right now,″ he said. ``Things have been so traumatic.″

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