Westerville Police Warn Bottle Bombs Are Illegal, Dangerous


Some may think it's a harmless prank, but Westerville police say bottle bombs are nothing to joke about.

There is nearly nothing left of the mailbox in front of one Westerville home.

Police said shortly after midnight Thursday, three homemade bottle bombs detonated inside the mailbox, blowing it to pieces.

Carolyn Ochsenhirt lives next door to where the bombs exploded.

“I heard three loud pops, like a gunshot,” she said.

She says the explosions shook her from bed.  

“It was it loud; yes it was very loud, very loud,” she added.

Westerville police Sgt. Charles Chandler says bottle bombs which can be seen in many YouTube videos are more than loud; he says the homemade bombs can be dangerous.

“When you are throwing debris that far you've basically made an improvised explosive device is what you made,” said Chandler.

The blast from the bottle bomb was so powerful that pieces of it landed roughly 40 feet away on the front porch.

Chandler said the homemade bombs are nothing new, but many don't realize they are illegal.

“Young people and teenagers may think this is a prank, but it's actually a fairly serious offense,” he explained.

Chandler said whoever is responsible could be charged with criminal damaging and even arson.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is also looking into two cases where bombs were put into mailboxes in Galena. It’s not believed the incidents are connected.

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