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Police Hunt Seven Homemade Bombs

May 3, 1985

PEABODY, Mass. (AP) _ Police were searching for seven homemade bombs after discovering that a 14- year-old boy had sold them at a junior high school and that a 17-year-old had the works for 51 more bombs at home.

The hunt has been under way since Monday, when a bomb went off outside a building housing a vocational high school and the Higgins Junior High, said Police Inspector John Colella.

A second bomb Tuesday blew a hole in the building roof, he said.

Colella said no questions would be asked if anyone returned any of the seven bombs unaccounted for.

″Our main concern is not with making an arrest but in keeping these devices off the streets so no one gets hurt,″ he said.

″Assuming these junior high school kids still have them, they could cause serious injury or death.″

State police bomb expert Joseph Sainato said the bombs had the impact of half a stick of dynamite.

″The device is powerful enough to take your hands off,″ he said. ″If that bomb went off here and now, you and I would be blind.″

The search intensified Thursday after an off-duty state police trooper, Thomas McNally, reported he found a teen-ager trying to detonate a device in a West Peabody street, said Colella.

After the arrest of the 14-year-old, Colella said, police interviewed another 14-year-old, a Higgins Junior High eighth-grader, and ″determined that this boy had sold 10 explosive devices in the school″ for between $5 and $10.

That interview led to the arrest of Steve Stasinos, 17, in his home, where the police found four more bombs and the works for 51 others, said the inspector.

With the arrest of the 14-year-old in West Peabody, ″we accounted for three of the 10 devices sold,″ said Colella.

Stasinos and the boy arrested by McNally were due in Peabody District Court today for arraignment. Stasinos was charged with manufacturing and possession of an infernal machine without a permit, said Colella.

The boy who sold the bombs will be summoned to a hearing on another date and was not arrested, said Colella.

The identity of the 14-year-olds were withheld because of their age.

The inspector said Stasinos sent away for the chemicals to make the explosive devices after he saw them advertised in a fireworks magazine.

He said the devices were cardboard cylinders a quarter-inch thick, three inches long and two inches wide with a six-inch fuse. He said they were filled with potassium, aluminum and sulpher compounds, which separately were harmless.

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