News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


Suspicious Device Found Attached to Hemet Police Cruiser

Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix

July 07, 2010

HEMET, CA – Hemet police on Tuesday found a “suspicious device” attached to a city police car, four days after two men were arrested in connection with a series of violent attacks against authorities in the small Riverside County city.

The device, which the Sheriff’s Department’s bomb squad rendered harmless, was found during a routine check of all police cars and could have been attached to the vehicle at any time over the last two months, said Lt. Duane Wisehart.

“Investigators believe they have the suspects in these attacks in custody and that this device was simply not discovered until today,” Wisehart said in a statement released by Hemet police.

On Friday, police arrested Nicholas John Smit, 40, of Hemet on suspicion of attempting to murder a police officer and building a potentially deadly booby trap. Also arrested was Steven Hansen, 36, a convicted arsonist from nearby Homeland, who was taken into custody on a parole violation for weapons possession.

The two are suspected of being involved in the attacks on Hemet police that started six months ago, including arson fires and a booby-trapped zip gun rigged to shoot an anti-gang investigator.

Police Chief Richard Dana said 78 officers, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and federal agents raided the two suspects’ homes Friday. At least two other suspects remain at large, he said. Dana said physical evidence from the attacks led to the arrest of Smit and Hansen, who know one another, but Dana declined to discuss the nature of that evidence.

Smit already faces charges of cultivating marijuana, the result of an earlier arrest made by Hemet police, Dana said.

Since the attacks began in December, investigators have speculated that the crimes were the work of the Vagos motorcycle gang or a band of white supremacists. Police are still trying to determine whether Smit or Hansen are connected to any gangs.

  • Evgeni_nabokov_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Stay safe all.

  • 12235_sq90_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Get them !

  • P3_max50


    about 4 years ago


    prep check! glad it was harmless and no officers were hurt but come on boys!

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Uh oh, looks like there's more players that need to be hunted down.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Do the walk around ...Stay Alert

  • Gas_mask_1_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I agree with BSL1123. It only takes once. We cannot afford to be complacent.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Check your vehicles folks. I fear this had given an idea to Bad Guys in other parts of the world. Take nothing for granted.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.