An alert hiker discovered eight Molotov cocktails and gasoline canister in a wooded area in the Santa Monica Mountains next to a trail on the northside of Mulholland Boulevard on May 21.
That hiker should be hailed as a hero. That person may have prevented a major brush fire that could have impacted Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Topanga.
When the hiker made the discovery, they immediately alerted a Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority park ranger.
The ranger took the items to the Nike missile site. Officers from West Valley Division and Emergency Services Division, Hazardous Material Section responded. The Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson Section was notified.
Maksim Klimenko, 34, was identified as the owner and was arrested on suspicion of possessing destructive device materials. He is being held on a $50,000 bail in the Twin Towers. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 6.
“Evidence at the scene lead to the identification of a suspect, a resident of Los Angeles,” the LAPD said in a written statement. Authorities would not divulge how Klimenko was allegedly linked to the devices.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.
The Molotov cocktail is typically a glass bottle filled with flammable fluid and capped with a lit cloth fuse or wick soaked in alcohol. When thrown against a hard surface the bottle breaks causing the wick to ignite the liquid. Molotov cocktails are easily produced and primarily intended to set targets ablaze.
The resident who tipped CTN about the incident, wrote “It’s a terrifying story. So glad they arrested someone.”
LAPD Commanding Officer of the West Los Angeles Area Captain Jonathon Tom said in an email to CTN, “There is no ongoing threat to the community.”