Man Suspected Of Making Explosive Devices Posts Bail

Explosives, Fireworks, Guns Found At Escondido Property Of Richard Hinkel, 45

An Escondido man arrested Sunday on suspicion of making explosive devices posted bail Monday.

Richard Hinkel, 45, was taken into custody after authorities said they found hundreds of fireworks, 18 explosive devices, 12 rifles and 10 handguns on his property.

Hinkel was screaming in the backyard of his home in the 2300 block of Country View Glen just before 5 a.m. Sunday, said Escondido police Lt. Craig Carter.

Carter said it appeared that Hinkel was turning the fireworks into bombs. The Bomb/Arson Unit from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department confiscated the explosive materials and guns, Carter said.

Hinkel was arrested on 18 counts of possessing explosive devices and one count of possessing materials to construct explosives, Carter said.

"We heard explosive materials, guns, that sort of thing," neighbor Scott Heimer told 10News. "I did see two police trucks pull up, heavy boxes being taken out. What was in the boxes? I don't know."

Neighbor Paul Harte said he watched for several hours as investigators went in and out of Hinkel's home and also searched a white van parked on the driveway.

"He's kind of a guy that is pretty quiet," added Harte. "He keeps to himself."

10news learned Hinkel worked as a tropical flower grower in the North County.

Bail was set at $25,000 and Hinkel posted the $2,500 needed to be released from jail.

10News reporter Ariana Duarte knocked on Hinkel's door Monday morning, but no one answered.

Neighbors said the bail amount was too low.

"It's scary. It was scary just to think that there's somebody here in re neighborhood that would be making bombs and to know that he's back out so easily, that's really scary," said Sylvia Contreras, who lives just a few doors down from Hinkel.

10News contacted Escondido Police to ask about the bail amount. Calls to the department have not been returned.

Investigators do not think Hinkel has any connection to George Jakubec, 54, also of Escondido, who was arrested last week after a gardener, Mario Garcia, 49, of Fallbrook, was injured when he stepped on something akin to a mine in Jakubec's backyard.

While searching Jakubec's residence, investigators found nine pounds of explosive materials sometimes used by terrorists, sheriff's deputies said.

He has pleaded not guilty to 26 felony counts involving possessing destructive devices, along with two charges of bank robbery, and is being held on $5 million bail.