A man arrested over the weekend who is accused of making bombs from fireworks has made bail.
Escondido police arrested Richard Hinkel on Sunday on suspicion of possessing explosives and using fireworks to make illegal bombs. Hinkel was taking the fireworks apart to turn them into explosive devices, police said.
On Monday, the sheriff's department confirmed that Hinkel, 45, was released from the Vista Jail after posting bail. According to the department's website, the bail amount was $25,000.
One resident in the gated community of Emerald Heights where Hinkel lives expressed surprise that the bail amount was relatively low, given the seriousness of the charges. A neighbor said Hinkel has a history of odd behavior, including urinating on his front lawn and throwing rocks at cars that drive by his house.
Police were called to Hinkel's home in the 2300 block of Country View Glen after reports that a man was outside, possibly firing a weapon and shouting at 4:59 a.m., according to Escondido Lt. Craig Carter. The call prompted officers to search the home.
The sheriff's bomb and arson unit was called in to clear out hundreds of fireworks. Officials also impounded a dozen rifles and 10 handguns from the home.
Hinkel was charged with 18 counts of possessing explosive devices and one count of possessing materials to construct an explosive device.
Myrna Beitner was one of a few neighbors who would talk about Hinkel. Several residents told reporters that they have had run-ins with Hinkel and were not comfortable talking about him.
"What is it that they're planning on doing with this stuff?" said Beitner. "I mean, it's scary.”
"If the weapons are accessible and the bad people break into the house, then you've got an even worse situation," said neighbor Tom Barrett.
According to our media partners, the North County Times, Escondido police believe the incident appears to be unrelated to the so-called “bomb factory” discovered 10 days ago on Via Scott, just two miles from Hinkel's home.
Hinkel is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
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