October 29, 1927
Police seized 300 pounds of dynamite, black powder, cellulose, and 1000 fulminate of mercury capsules which had been concealed in a garage at 1201 Kalamazoo Street in Beverly Hills. The garage is at the home of Dick Baird, one of three high school students who had planned to use the explosives to celebrate Halloween with more than just costumes and masks.
The police were first notified of suspicious activity by the principal of Beverly Hills High School. He complained that several powerful firecrackers had recently been exploded on school grounds. The subsequent search revealed that three boys: Dick Baird, Cecil Merritt, and Joel Smith had been carrying dynamite caps and short fuses in their pockets, and then pitching the small bombs from classroom windows.
The source of the dynamite was found to be in Higgins Canyon west of Beverly Hills, where it had been stored by the Beverly Hills Road Company since completing a project in 1925. One of the youths admitted that he had rolled down a seventy-five foot embankment clutching a box of the stolen dynamite, which he then transferred to a waiting automobile!
Explosives experts told police that if the dynamite had been ignited it would have jolted the entire city of Beverly Hills, leveled a whole residential block, and would probably have resulted in many deaths.
The boys will not be prosecuted; however, police are extremely interested in speaking with those persons responsible for abandoning the dynamite.