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February 14, 2002
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FBI looking for man who bought propane, BB pellets, teddy bears

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) _ The FBI is asking for the public's help in finding a man who purchased several small propane canisters, Valentine's Day teddy bears and BB gun pellets last month from a Wal-Mart store in this Los Angeles suburb.

Although the purchase could be harmless, the items could also be assembled into small bombs.

The agency received an anonymous tip last week stating that a man between the ages of 22 and 35 and possibly of Arab descent paid cash for the items on Jan. 15 and left the store, in Santa Clarita's Stevenson Ranch area, in a white delivery truck.

``The man is not a suspect,'' the FBI's Los Angeles office said in a statement released Wednesday.

``The FBI is interested in identifying the white delivery truck and this man in an effort to clarify the nature of his purpose,'' the agency continued, adding that it hoped the man himself would come forward.

According to the FBI, the man purchased seven twin-pack propane fuel canisters, each eight inches tall; 12 packs of BB pellets, each containing about 350 BBs; and nine white Valentine's Day teddy bears, each about 20 inches tall.

FBI spokesman Matthew McLaughlin said authorities don't believe the case is connected to an Aug. 31 shootout at a Stevenson Ranch home that resulted in the deaths of James Allen Beck, who lived there, and Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Hagop Kuredjian.


Editors: To contact the FBI regarding this case, call (310) 477-6565.

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