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FBI arrests suspect in Kaimuki pipe bomb incident

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 2:33 p.m. HST, May 23, 2012

A 45-year-old Chinatown resident is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court Thursday after his arrest this morning for allegedly planting a homemade pipe bomb two months ago at a Kaimuki rooming house.

The FBI said Patrick Lopes allegedly placed the pipe bomb at a home on 7th Avenue because he had a personal grudge against one of its tenants.

The FBI said Lopes built the pipe bomb from materials he bought at Home Depot.

There is no allegation that Lopes was part of an organized terror network, the FBI said.

The FBI, in a affidavit, said Lopes believed the resident had been following him and spying on him using surveillance equipment to monitor his conversations.

Lopes also believed the resident stole money from Lopes' safety deposit box. Lopes said he was forced to carry a bar of gold and the rest of his money in backpack.

However, the resident was in Florida when Lopes allegedly planted the bomb.

The landlord of the Kaimuki rooming house told the FBI that Lopes lived in her building from June 1994 to August 2011, but she evicted him for smoking marijuana and because of complaints by other tenants.

A resident discovered the device, described as a silver galvanized pipe with a fuse, cigarette and matchbook, near the house?s gas line on March 11. The cigarette had been lit, but apparently went out.

The Honolulu Police Department's bomb squad used a robot to pick up the device so it could be safety defused.

The FBI arrested Lopes at his North Pauahi Street apartment this morning without incident and closed off the area while they searched his apartment.

If convicted, Lopes could face between 10 and 20 years in federal prison.

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