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Suspect Linked to Explosion Near Synagogue Fled Area Thursday  

By Lookout Staff

UPDATE: The Santa Monica Police Department reported that a man believed to be Ron Hirsch, wanted in connection with the explosion at Chabad House, was taken into custody in Cleveland, Ohio Monday night. Police said a concerned citizen came into contact with the man and called law enforcement.

April 12, 2011 -- Ron Hirsch, wanted for questioning in connection with Thursday's explosion next to a Santa Monica synagogue, appears to have left the area the day of the explosion.

Travelling under a known alias, J. Fisher, Hirsch bought a Greyhound bus ticket the day of the blast to New York, according to a joint press release by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Santa Monica Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Surveillance videos in Denver indicate Fisher got off the bus, and authorities aren't sure if he then continued on to New York or if he changed routes.

Hirsch was due to arrive in New York City on Sunday, but there are at least ten other stops on the way, authorities say.

Considered “extremely dangerous,” Hirsch has been linked to materials that were used to propel 300 pounds of concrete into the air and through the roof of a house behind Chabad House, a synagogue near the corner of 17th and Broadway streets.

Although investigators initially said the explosion was a “freak industrial accident,” after more forensic analysis they determined that the blast had been deliberately set.

Hirsch, a transient, is “known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons,” according to the release. He is a 60-year-old caucasian, is five feet seven inches tall, weighs 207 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes.

Hirsch is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges.

Based on his suspected involvement in this incident, Hirsch is considered extremely dangerous. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Hirsch is urged to contact law enforcement. The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day in Los Angeles at 888 CANT HIDE. Alternatively, anyone with information can dial 911.

No known motive for a deliberate attack is known at this time. A joint investigation by the Santa Monica Police Department, the FBI, the ATF, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Monica Fire Department is ongoing.

Reward money is available in exchange for information leading to a conviction in connection with this alleged crime.


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