At least nine different incidents occurred and all the devices recovered were identified as "acid bombs." These incidents all occurred near the western edge of The Woodlands in the area of FM 2978 and Woodlands Parkway.
Authorities say these devices are generally made from small plastic bottles filled with chemicals and foil or metal objects. A chemical reaction occurs when the devices are shaken and thrown, resulting in the violent rupture of the plastic containers.
Harris County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams said, "They'll mix chemicals together and unfortunately a lot of this information is readily available nowadays."
These devices can easily cause serious injury or property damage. One Woodlands resident was slightly injured this weekend when he unknowingly picked up one of the devices which then exploded in his hand.
Residents are cautioned not to touch any suspected devices they may encounter. The recent "acid bombs" were made from plastic water bottles and would appear to contain a clear or foaming liquid and aluminum foil.
"They'll see an empty water bottle with just a little bit of clear liquid in it," Williams said. "They'll see that and pick it up and about that time, it will go off."
Victim Jody Brower heard what she thought were fireworks late at night.
She said, "The next day I picked up the water bottles and I could feel my hands were burning."
The reaction is generally short-lived and the bottle may even appear to be bulging. If you discover a suspected device, stay away and call 911.
During a search of the area, deputies recovered evidence which may lead to the persons involved in making and throwing these improvised explosive devices.
Investigators have identified several persons of interest and have recovered video of them purchasing some of the materials needed for making the devices. All of the persons of interest appear to be young teens and are likely to be residents of the area.
"School's out and we always see an increase in criminal mischief and fires during the summertime," Williams said.
Brower said, "I hope that the parents can keep track of your kids. They shouldn't be letting them run around at night when they don't know what they're doing."
The fire marshal is treating the case very seriously and says the people who did it will be looking at a court date.
If you recognize any of the individuals in the surveillance photo, you're asked to contact the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office at 936-538-8288. Persons with information who wish to remain anonymous may also contact Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 800-392-(STOP) 7867 or visit the Crime Stoppers website at www.montgomerycountycrimestoppers.org.
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