Police remove pipe bombs found in Boynton Beach; man in custody

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Police in Boynton Beach located and siabled more than two dozen pipe bombs on Wednesday, and arrested a man who said he has been making and detonating bombs for years. - Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad on Wednesday night located and disabled more than two dozen pipe bombs in a grassy area and dumpster off of Hoadley Road, near Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach.

Police said Thursday morning that the area is secure, and only Hoadly Road remained closed.

Gregory Samuel Haasze, 34, of Boynton Beach, was arrested on 26 counts of making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging a destructive device.

The incident began late Wednesday when Boynton Beach police evacuated apartment and shopping complexes along Congress Avenue and Old Boynton Road after reports of a loud noise in the area.

When officers first arrived they found the remains of a PVC pipe bomb and shut down Old Boynton Road from Congress Avenue to Renaissance Commons Boulevard, the Oakwood Square Shopping Center and the south end of the Town Center Shopping Center near Target and Best Buy, police said.

The bomb squad found six more PVC pipe bombs placed around the area.

Some of the PVC pipe bombs contained screws, nails, and pellets, according to police. He told police he bought the explosive materials on eBay using his phone. Haasze said he built and used the devices to remove tree stumps.

Police and bomb technicians also found a cardboard box addressed to Gregory Haasze placed on top of a dumpster outside the apartment building where he lived. The box contained more pipe bombs, explosive materials and bottles of pills prescribed to Haasze.

A resident told the police that a man named “Greg” lived in an apartment in the 1200 block of Old Boynton Road and he was known to make explosives and detonate them.

While the materials were being safely removed, Haasze came outside and surrendered to police. He told officers he was the reason they were there, according to the arrest report.

During questioning, Haasze admitted to making the devices for years and detonating them for different reasons such as celebrating Independence Day.

Haasze also claimed to detonate three bombs since Sunday. He said he put everything in the dumpster when he saw all the police activity in the neighborhood and he knew he was in trouble.

Police evacuated Poinciana West Apartments, the homes along Hoadley Road and the Oakwood Square Shopping Center “out of an abundance of caution,” said Boynton police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.

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©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)