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Man accused of setting off over 150 explosions in Pasadena

Pasadena man arrested for detonating over 150 fireworks around city
Pasadena man arrested for detonating over 150 fireworks around city 02:23

Pasadena police arrested a 63-year-old man after he allegedly set off over 150 explosions in the past two years. 

Detectives caught the man when he allegedly detonated an explosive near the area where they were investigating one of the explosions, according to the Pasadena Police Department.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney charged 63-year-old Art Leon Berian with three felony counts of explosives with intent to injure or intimidate. Prosecutors recommended a bail of $1.5 million. 

The detonations happened near Allen Avenue and Washington Boulevard. While most of the blasts were not reported to police, the city's ShotSpotter technology detected them and alerted officers. In the last two weeks, the technology identified 14 explosions in the same area. A Pasadena Fire Department Arson investigator, with the help of Robbery Homicide Unit detectives, determined Berian as their lead suspect.

On May 16, detectives were canvassing the area to find videos of a related explosion when they heard a loud bang and saw a white cloud pop up in front of them. The detectives searched the area and witnessed Berian's 2013 BMW pulling up to the blast site. The arrested him immediately and booked him into the Pasadena City Jail. 

No one has been injured in any of the explosions. Police said the explosives Berian used were homemade M-80 fireworks. 

Police implemented the ShotSpotter technology to detect gunshots. 

Investigators urge anyone with information about these incidents to call the department at (626) 744-4241. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or their website.

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