Suspect Arrested in College Park Pipe Bomb Case

A College Park neighborhood was evacuated after "hazardous device" discovered

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A College Park neighborhood was evacuated Friday morning after what authorities are calling "a hazardous device" was discovered, and one person is being questioned in connection with the incident. (Published Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

    Investigators say they believe a pipe bomb that detonated in College Park on Tuesday is related to an incident Friday morning that led to a neighborhood evacuation.

    Police got a call early Friday about a potentially explosive "hazardous device" in a van parked in the 5000 block of Edgewood Road. They told residents there to leave their homes as a precaution while technicians from the Prince George's County bomb squad rendered the device inert, said Mark Brady of the county's fire department. A search of the house associated with the van found nothing.

    At 10:30 a.m., investigators executed a search warrant at a house in the 9000 block of Rhode Island Avenue near Blackfoot Place in College Park. A guest of renters at that home -- 28-year-old John Frank Jenkins -- was arrested and charged with two felony counts of manufacture or possession of a destructive device. No hazardous devices were found in the home.

    "This investigation involved serious criminal activity that included explosives," Deputy Fire Chief Scott Hoglander said. "I'm confident that we stopped activity that could have resulted in harm to innocent people and property damage."

    The owner of the Edgewood Road house where the device was discovered Friday spoke exclusively with News4's Seth Lemon. The homeowner -- who didn't want his name used -- said police have detained his son for questioning.

    "They handcuffed me and told me they couldn't tell me nothing, wouldn't let me call my job or nothing," he said. "[An officer] told me my son's being detained; he's down at District 1 helping ATF with an investigation concerning a pipe bomb."

    An Edgewood Road resident said he was told to leave his home  for about two hours.

    "I went to 7-Eleven, which is right up there on the hill, and then, [from] 7-Eleven I heard this loud boom," the resident said. He said he saw smoke rising from a white police van that was parked just a few feet from his home.

    Residents have since been allowed to return to their homes, but authorities say they should not be surprised if streets are closed throughout the day due to the ongoing investigation.

    Tuesday's incident happened around 2 a.m., about a mile and a half away. What authorities called a small pipe bmob exploded on a porch in the 8800 block of 48th Avenue in College Park. Damage was minimal and no one was injured.

    Investigators will analyze forensic evidence to confirm if the two incidents are in fact related, police said.

    A female at the home in the 9000 block of Rhode Island Avenue also was arrested, but on an unrelated open warrant.

    County police, the City of Annapolis Bomb Squad, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI are conducting a joint investigation.

    Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more.