Investigation Underway Into Pipe Bomb Explosion

An investigation was underway into the discovery of a pipe bomb at a Lake Forest concrete business where an explosion occurred less than a week earlier.

No one was injured in the explosion Saturday at Farino Concrete at 23201 Olive Ave., according to Lt. Mark Stichter of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The blast was already under investigation when, on Wednesday about 4 p.m., an employee at the business found a pipe bomb, Stichter said.

The device was rendered safe by the sheriff's bomb squad and both the blast and the pipe bomb find remain under active investigation, with no solid conclusions drawn yet about either incident, according to the lieutenant. Sheriff's Lt. Jerry Carlsen, however, said the placement of the devices appeared to be a targeted act.

Stichter said he was aware of Carlsen's comments, but added, "We have no specific information this was a targeted act at all."

He conceded that the circumstances are suspicious, but said, "We just can't draw any conclusions without looking at all the evidence collected."

"We're going to be looking at all the possibilities," he said.

Plant owner Rick Farino is worried he's being targeted and has his suspicions about who might be behind it.

He's grateful there have been no injuries.

"They tried to put them in a location where they could shut the plant down from operating which basically was the power system," he said.

The first bomb went off Saturday at 2 a.m., taking out all the lines to his power, water and chemicals, each one needed to make concrete.

"There was fragments on the ground from the metal," he said. "There was metal debris everywhere."

Whatever exploded had enough power to puncture a steel I-beam.

One of Farino's workers found spotted another pipe bomb on Wednesday at the plant.

The bomb squad was able to destroy it before it went off.

Businesses and streets were shut down.

"I'm not sure if same person doing the same thing but they were serious about it," said Ed Griffin, a business owner.

Farino said there is a lot of competition in his business. He loads up to 40 trucks a day. He had security cameras before. Now he has more and is watching around the clock.

"They'll find 'em," he said. "Might take a little bit but they'll find 'em."

Contact Us