Fairfield PD make arrest in pipe bomb cases

June 19, 2011 5:29:45 PM PDT
Investigators believe they might be a step closer to solving the case of a newspaper pipe bomb that injured an elderly Vacaville man in March.

With the choking smell of tear gas still hanging in the air, Fairfield resident Jimmie Hicks showed ABC7 News the room he rents from pipe bomb suspect Daniel Garcia. Broken glass still covers the living room floor from yesterday's SWAT standoff.

Also found on the floor of the home: Smokeless gun powder, duct tape, computer equipment and a search warrant giving police the right to search the home for pipe bombs.

When asked if he'd ever heard Garcia talk about building pipe bombs, Hicks replied, "No, he didn't."

Hicks, who moved into the Fairfield home just eight days ago, says he barely knows Garcia. Hicks was arrested during yesterday's standoff for obstruction of justice when he wouldn't leave the house.

"I'm not trying to obstruct justice or anything like that," Hicks told ABC7 News, "but he doesn't look like a man that would have anything to do with a pipe bomb."

But that's not what Fairfield police think. Police, along with the FBI and bomb squad technicians, surrounded Garcia's home on Quincey Lane for more than seven hours yesterday.

Garcia became a suspect after a pipe bomb detonated under a car in Fairfield three weeks ago. Police searched his home on Thursday when he wasn't there, and that search turned up at least one pipe bomb.

Garcia returned on Saturday and, after police filled the home with tear gas, finally surrendered around 8:30 p.m.

Neighbors say Garcia was unusual and referenced an event that happened several months ago.

"He would run up and down the street naked," neighbor Reggie Robinson said.

Robinson said he spoke with Garcia just last week.

"He showed me his little experiment he was doing to generate electricity to his house so he wouldn't have to pay PG&E," Robinson said. "He hooked up a bike with a battery and a generator."

Vacaville Police confirm they are investigating whether there is a connection between Garcia and a pipe bomb that detonated several months ago. An elderly man on Cachel Circle was severely injured when his newspaper exploded after he'd picked it up from his driveway.

The man's hand, arm and leg were severely injured in the incident. Neighbors are wondering if the arrest of Garcia could lead to a break in the case.

"Maybe this will help kind of get some more clues as to what's going on, if they are related or not," said Vacaville resident Tina Jelinski.

Police say Garcia has a criminal history, but they would not go into specifics about his criminal past. Garcia is currently being held at the Solano County Jail without bail.


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