March 5, 2021

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Explosive building materials found during search of Stockton home

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Materials used to build explosives were found on Monday during the search of the Stockton home of a man who was arrested Sunday in connection with igniting an explosive device on Saturday.

Authorities on Monday evacuated the 2400 block of W. Sonoma Avenue as the home was searched by both the San Joaquin Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team and the FBI.

According to a San Joaquin County Sheriff report, James Towles, 50, was spotted driving a car in west Stockton on Sunday. Towles fled when deputies attempted to stop him. His vehicle rear-ended a truck in the area of Ryde and Alpine avenues. Towles was taken into custody and medical aid was given to passengers in the truck. They appeared to have only minor injuries.



a car parked in a parking lot: San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies cordon off a portion of the 2400 block of west Sonoma Avenue to investigate a possible bomb and bomb making materials at a home on the street.


© Clifford Oto/The Stockton Record
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies cordon off a portion of the 2400 block of west Sonoma Avenue to investigate a possible bomb and bomb making materials at a home on the street.

Towles’ vehicle was searched and an item resembling a small explosive was found, authorities reported. The EOD was called to the scene and disposed of the device.

Towles was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on multiple charges: possession of explosives, felony hit and run with injury, possession of cocaine, and possession of an illegal weapon. 



a man smiling for the camera: James Towles


© San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office
James Towles

Authorities said the arrest was connected to an event Saturday that also resulted in the arrest of Russell Altheide, 65, on multiple charges including possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit crime.



a man smiling for the camera: Russell Altheide


© San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office
Russell Altheide

In that incident, an individual was seen on surveillance video throwing an explosive device at a local church at Alpine and Delaware avenues after a celebration of life.

Record reporter Angelaydet Rocha covers breaking news. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ AngelaydetRocha. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

This article originally appeared on The Record: Explosive building materials found during search of Stockton home

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