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Calif. Bombing Suspect Arrested

October 6, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A man wanted in a series of bombings last year in Northern California _ including a blast at a police chief’s house _ was arrested Tuesday at his suburban San Diego home, police said.

Rodney Blach, 53, was wanted on a warrant on 11 charges, including attempted murder, using a destructive device to murder and a using destructive device to terrorize. He was being held without bond.

The charges stem from bombings last year in Fremont, about 30 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Blach was arrested as he walked out of his home in the upscale Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood. Police confiscated a two loaded weapons _ a semiautomatic handgun and a rifle _ and a bulletproof vest.

Authorities said Blach has been a suspect since four bombings and two attempted bombings in the peaceful, scenic city of Fremont, including an explosion at Fremont Police Chief Craig Steckler’s home. The blast ripped a 10-foot-wide hole in the roof and set the front porch on fire. No one was injured.

That same afternoon, Steckler’s predecessor, Councilman Bob Wasserman, found an explosive in a brown paper bag on the walkway leading to his front door. It was safely disabled.

The other explosives were three pipe bombs planted in newly constructed homes in the upscale Mission Heights neighborhood; two exploded and the other did not. A fourth bomb went off in backpack hanging on a water tank above the same neighborhood. The tank was not damaged.

Blach lived in the neighborhood, within a mile of where the bombs were planted, authorities said.

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