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Fresno bombing spree suspect caught

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A sense of safety returned to a Fresno neighborhood after the end of a bombing spree.

Deputies seized explosive materials, but not before they say a suspect scared hundreds of people and destroyed several mailboxes. Cody Bewarder is in the Fresno County jail now -- charged with using an explosive device.

The suspect lived in a Northeast Fresno home with about five roommates who all woke up to a big surprise Thursday when deputies broke into their house to serve a search warrant. They didn't want to talk on camera, but they told Action News nobody had seen inside Cody's room for a long time before Thursday. That's when they found out Cody was obviously living a secret life.

Broken brick and twisted metal are all that remains of this Fig Garden area mailbox. A pipe bomb explosion late Wednesday night destroyed the mailbox and rocked the neighborhood. But it also helped investigators end a bombing spree that lasted at least five months.

"During that time, they were able to gather evidence from the device," said Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman Chris Curtice. "They learned it was a pipe bomb."

Less than a mile away, sheriff's investigators had also looked into this mailbox bombing in May. And evidence from two other bombings showed a unique connection between the explosions.

"As they dug further into that, they learned these materials could only be found at one hardware store in the city of Fresno," Curtice said.

Records from that hardware store led deputies to 27-year-old Cody Bewarder. And he was easy to find Wednesday night. Investigators say he drove past his latest victim to admire his own work.

By Thursday morning, undercover deputies served a warrant at the home where he lived, pulling out six boxes of bomb-making materials -- including illegal fireworks, fuses, and pipes.

Neighbors from two blocks away say they've heard evidence he's been practicing for quite a while.

"For about a month it was every night at 7 o'clock and they were like M80s or bigger," said neighbor Bob MacDonald.

Investigators say they believe Bewarder was acting alone. In fact, his roommates say they also heard explosions in the neighborhood, but they never suspected he was the one setting them off.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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fresno, fresno county, fresno northeast, local, corin hoggard
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