The so-called "bomb factory" at the center of a multi-agency investigation remains blocked off and neighbors are on edge, waiting for authorities to reveal what they plan to do with the stockpile of explosive material in the home.
North County resident George Jakubec, 54, faces 28 criminal counts, most related to possession of explosives connected to what was discovered on the property of the home on Via Scott in unincorporated Escondido.
Jakubec is accused of compiling what’s believed to be the largest stockpile of a highly explosive material -- hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, -- ever discovered in the U.S. On Monday, he pleaded not guilty to all charges, which included two robbery counts.
"There's really nothing going on at the site," San Diego County Sheriff’s spokesperson Melissa Aquino told our media partners the North County Times. "The house remains sealed and there is a unit there to make sure no one enters the home."
In the meantime, heavy machinery is being brought to the Escondido neighborhood. Residents say they can't wait for it all to be over.
“We don't have any idea what’s going on, except there's so much stuff they're scared to even go in,” said neighbor Tim Latulippe. “The professionals are scared to go in which makes us even more scared.”
Neighbors are hoping the investigation will reveal why Jakubec was making the bombs. In the meantime, they're not taking any chances.
“We've been sticking close to home because that's what the sheriff's office told us to do," said neighbor Wilma Smith.
While authorities discuss options on what to do with all the material, we're learning more about the suspect Jakubec and his wife, Marina Ivanova who lived with him in the rental home.
In a the search warrant of Jakubec's home, obtained Tuesday, Benny Cruz, of the San Diego Sheriff's Department, wrote "evasive and nervous" when questioned about the explosives on Nov. 18, the day landscaper Mario Garcia was injured by a blast in the backyard of the home.
The court papers contain the following statements:
Jakubec denied having anything explosive in the back yard, and Jakubec appeared evasive and nervous during his conversation with the fire captain.
During [a conversation Jakubec had with Deputy David Buether], Jakubec tried to change the topic several times and was not forthcoming with some of his responses, requiring Deputy Buether to elaborate and make further inquiries into the belongings in the back yard. At one point, Jakubec admitted to having four grenades.
Detective [Anthony] Portillo told me [Benny Cruz, of the San Diego Sheriff's Department] that Jakubec admitted to possessing additional explosives and bomb making materials in the back yard and inside the residence. During the course of Detective Portillo's investigation, it was learned that there were at least five jars of powdered explosives in the back yard.
Jakubec is no stranger to the courtroom. He appeared before the same judge last year, when he and his wife were charged with burglary and grand theft from a Fry's Electronics store. The couple was also caught with a controlled substance without a prescription. Jakubec pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and was sentenced to three years' probation.
The current charges Jakubec faces allege more than just illegal bomb-making. He is also charged with two robberies. One of them, on June 25, 2010, occurred on the same day as a bank robbery in Sorrento Mesa, where the suspect impersonated the infamous Geezer Bandit. The other, on July 17, took place on the same date as a bank heist in Carmel Mountain Ranch.
Jakubec is being held on $5 million bail.