Redondo Beach bomb suspect previously sentenced to eight years for possession of pipe bombs

Robert Colt Wilson was arrested Saturday on charges of attempted murder and arson. Photo courtesy of Redondo Beach Police Department
Redondo Police, and Fire, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad Unit search for improvised explosive devices at a public storage facility on Francesca Avenue, in Redondo Beach. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody 

A man arrested Saturday afternoon by Redondo Beach Police, on charges of attempted murder, arson and possession of improvised explosive devices, was sentenced in 2013 to eight years in prison for possession of eight pipe bombs.

Redondo Beach Police arrested Robert Colt Wilson Saturday afternoon following an investigation early Saturday morning into a residential fire in the 200 block of Torrance Boulevard. 

Robert Colt Olson following his arrest on Saturday on charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of explosives and arson. Photo by courtesy of RBPD

Robert Colt Wilson in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2013, when he pled no contest to illegal possession of explosives and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Photo courtesy of KTLA

Wilson was arrested on similar charges, in May 2013, following a traffic stop in Marina Del Rey. Los Angeles police found a pipe bomb, a loaded gun and drugs in his car. During a subsequent search of his West Los Angeles apartment police found 17 more pipe bombs, leading the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Unit to order the neighborhood evacuated, according to a May 17, 2013, LA Weekly story by reporter Dennis Romero.

In an Oct. 9, 2013 follow-up article, the Los Angeles Times reported Wilson pled no contest to illegal possession of explosives and a gun. “Police described him as a ‘lone wolf,’ who was intrigued by explosives, but said he had no connection with terrorist acts or groups,” the Times reported.

Wilson’s arrest on Saturday followed a fire he allegedly started at the home of an acquaintance in the 200 block of Torrance Boulevard, in Redondo Beach.

Police and fire were called to the residence shortly after midnight, Saturday morning.

“I heard large explosions. It sounded like fireworks. But then I saw so many police cars flying down the street,” neighbor Sheri Carrier told CBS reporter Hemara Aregali.

Occupants of the residence were safely evacuated and the fire was quickly extinguished. Neighboring residences were not damaged. But while investigating the cause of the fire, Redondo police discovered “improvised explosives” and called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad Unit for assistance in defusing them, according to Redondo Police Sergeant Mark Valdivia.

Investigation of the fire also prompted police to obtain search warrants for storage units at a nearby public storage facility on Francesca Avenue, and for an apartment building  in Rolling Hills Estates. Police have not disclosed the results of those searches.

During the searches, police cordoned off Catalina Avenue, between Herondo and Gertruda avenues, until early Saturday afternoon. The cordoned off area included the Redondo Beach main post office on Catalina Avenue and the public storage facility on Francesca Avenue. ER


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

Be an Easy Reader Free Press supporter!

Yes, we know Easy Reader and are free. But they are not free to produce. The advertiser model that traditionally supported newspapers is fading away. This is our way of transitioning to a future where newspapers are supported by their readers. Which is as it should be. We hope you’ll support us. — Kevin Cody, Publisher