It probably is, with a certainty of 99 percent.
An alleged chemical weapon in a bowl, using electrolysis, hooked to a wall outlet, at a Wal-Mart in Oxnard.
Oxnard police said Wednesday they arrested a man accused of placing a chemical weapon inside a Walmart store last month.
The city’s police and fire departments responded about 11:45 a.m. June 18 to a report of a suspicious device inside the business at 2701 Saviers Road, Oxnard police said. Authorities found a bowl containing a mixture of chemicals that was connected to an electrical cord plugged into an outlet, authorities said. The device was identified as a possible improvised chemical weapon and remove it from the business, police said.
Area surveillance footage showed a man leaving the store about the time the device was found, police said. Martin Reyes, 31, of Oxnard, was identified as a suspect in the case and was interviewed Tuesday in county jail, authorities said. He previously had been booked into the facility on an unrelated offense, authorities said.
During the interview, Martinez confessed to investigators that he made the weapon and was aware it could create a harmful gas, police said. He told authorities he researched how to make the device on the internet, authorities said.
Reyes was arrested on suspicion of the unlawful possession and manufacture of a chemical weapon of mass destruction, police said.
Customers and employees were evacuated from the store for about six hours and the incident cost the retailer more than $120,000 in revenue, authorities said.
One becomes suspicious of lameness and over-cooking the threat when there is no specificity as to the nature of an alleged weapon.
The only thing that came to mind, as an expert, was the generation of chlorine gas by electrolysis of salt water.
But I’m not going to get into the details of why a bowl of salt water hooked to a wall outlet is a laugher, at any speed.
There are fairly obvious ways to generate chlorine with common products. The other way to do it with of the shelf of the store products, on the spot, is through sodium hypochlorite used to sanitize backyard swimming pools.
Again, however, the idea that you can make a WMD from a small bag of bleaching powder or liquid bleach just doesn’t merit that level of concern.
One hundred twenty thousand dollars in lost business, it’s claimed. And bail set at half a million for a WMD offense.
Check the pictures of the alleged perpetrator. Tell me what you think. Even out of an overuse of abundance of caution, nah.
Look, people who are mentally diminished can become trivial public nuisances. It doesn’t make them capable of making a WMD in a bowl because they read some shit on the internet.