June 13, 2016
Hemet Police Department received a report at approximately 3:30 pm of a suspicious device resembling a pipe bomb at the 3100 block of W. Florida Ave, before the intersection of Florida and Sanderson Ave.
Hemet Police Officers and Riverside County Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team quickly responded to the scene with HPD officers closing W. Florida Ave at Sanderson Ave and Kirby St in both directions during the investigations. The hazardous device team deployed a bomb disposal robot to inspect the suspicious device.
The investigation lasted several hours and ended with the robot using an onboard tool similar to a shotgun, that when fired, strikes the target with a pellet in an attempt to defuse an explosive device. When the robot was finished with it’s job, a bomb technician approached it to inspect the suspicious device and discovered it to not be an explosive after all.
Hemet Police Department stated that the suspicious device resembling a pipe bomb was found to be a tool used for the production of honey oil; a form of cannabis concentrate produced by filling a tube usually made of glass or steel with ground cannabis and injecting butane gas into one of the ends of the tube in order to extract the oils from the plant material.
Butane honey oil extraction is an extremely dangerous activity. Butane is flammable, explosive and can potentially contain poisonous and harmful chemicals. There have been accounts of people blowing up their houses, kitchens, and bathrooms attempting butane and other solvent extractions indoors. Why or how this device was left at the scene of this incident is unknown.
After the determination was made by law enforcement officials that there was no further risk to the public; the scene was cleared at approximately 7:00 pm and officers reopened westbound and eastbound traffic on Florida Ave.
I report on scene along with Aric Bell of Hemet Valley Incidents in the following video.