NOVATO (CBS SF) — A 15-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday for possession of a destructive device after a 4-foot rocket launcher was found in the backseat of the SUV he was driving, Novato police said.

The unlicensed Novato teen was stopped by a police traffic officer around 9:40 a.m. in the 1700 block of Novato Boulevard for playing music too loudly in the Dodge Durango, Cpl. Nick Frey said.

The teen was alone in the SUV and the officer spotted the AT4 rocket launcher in the backseat, Frey said. The weapon was unloaded.

The single-shot, recoilless weapon was developed in the early 1980s and is made in Sweden and the United States.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Police called the bomb squad from the University of California at Berkeley Police Department, which took possession of the rocket launcher and turned it over to a local military institution, Frey said.

The teen was booked into juvenile hall, Frey said. The boy’s brother, a former member of the military, also responded to the scene Frey said.

Police are investigating how the teen and his brother came to be in possession of the rocket launcher.

The incident closed Novato Boulevard near Seventh Avenue until 1 p.m., Frey said.

Scott Bauer, deputy director of Marin County Library Services, said 50 people, including eight to 10 staff members, were evacuated from the library at 1720 Novato Boulevard during the incident.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (22)
  1. CH says:

    That explains the helicopter hovering just west of downtown earlier today! They usually only hover in that area when there’s a brush fire on the hill behind my house.

  2. EB says:

    Glad they caught him. An RPG in the car could bring freeway road rage to a whole new level…

  3. Kevin Phillip Hoctor says:

    for gods sake, it is an empty tube, nothing more, They are not re-loadable, just like a Laws Rocket as far as I know.

  4. John John G says:

    And why NRA (National RPG association) is silent? Why republican candidates do not make fuss about this blatant assault of the Second Amendment?

  5. OnlyKingsHaveRings-KingKobe says:

    The kid just wanted to join the A-Team.

  6. Tony says:

    I only wonder if it was operational.

  7. KN says:

    Since when do they pull people over for playing music too loudly in their car? Only in Marin….

  8. NewsFerret says:

    What a big load of nothing for a story.

    The AT4 is a single-use light anti-tank weapon. Once fired the expended tube is discarded. It cannot be reloaded or reused.

    It will be nice when reporters learn to do a little research before submitting their stories, editors learn how to do fact-checking before trumping up sensationalistic tripe to get people all worked up, and people like John John G go back to junior high school and learn how to think.

    1. spamslots says:

      Um. The article does in fact say it is a single-shot weapon. It’s not the reporters that got people worked up, there was a policeman that spotted it and called in the bomb squad.

      1. Sofa Kingdom says:

        Single shot and disposable are 2 different things. A shot gun is a single shotter too.

  9. GMC says:

    Wow…I can’t remember a more overblown story…oh, yeah, it involves something weapon oriented and no one in the media has a clue about firearms or related stuff.

    The AT4 tube this kid has is completely harmless…can not be reused. It’s an empty, cheap tube with a trigger that is designed for one shot and then thrown away,
    This is a sought after item that militaria collectors want to add to their collection…costs a few hundred $$.

    A baseball bat is much more dangerous than this thing will ever be.

  10. ChipSlap says:

    But an AT4 is NOT a shotgun. It is single-shot AND disposable. After they are fired, they’re about as dangerous as the middle of a roll of paper towels. I should know, I’ve fired enough of them.

  11. BigBrother says:

    This story is really about and unlicensed teenager that happened to be in possession of a piece of useless military surplus that his big brother brought home. People are too uppity nowadays…

  12. taxThechurchesnow says:

    Wow! I’ve always wanted a rocket launcher attached to the top of my car so I could rid the road of slow azz drivers!

  13. tom says:

    Novato Police officers are not the brightest bulb in the lot

  14. Cindy Rogers says:

    Nothing like this ever happened when I lived in Novato LOL

  15. Tim says:

    At least they had the sense to change the headline – originally they had “Rocket-Propelled Grenade Device Found In Novato Car; 1 Arrested”

    Big differences between an RPG and an AT4

  16. Michael Le says:

    I was watching channel 5 news yesterday and saw this story. Now I no longer trust the Police or the Bay Area Television News, and believe both of you to be twisted and have free reign to pretty much report anything you want.

    Bottomline: It’s just a USELESS tube the kid had!

    If the police or the Channel-5 would have done even a little research, they will know that this is just a useless tube and is available through various sources on the internet. being one, do a search on gunbroker for AT4 and you will see you can buy these and they are legal to own. They are Inert (dead) objects basically just decoration now.

    Once the AT4 is used one time, it is discarded and pretty much becomes just a useless tube afterwards. Read up on Wikipedia on “AT4” and you will see what I am talking about. I myself have known many people in New Hampshire that owned these “tubes” when I lived there and believe it or not, the Sky is still there in New Hampshire and did not fall down.

    The kicker of this story is your story made the kid to be a terrorist because he get bad grades, who does not get bad grade in High School? If that is the criteria for being a terrorist, than that must mean we are all terrorist.

    Instead of reporting real news, I see you guys like to sensationalize things. It’s either one of 2 things, either 1) channel-5 and the Navato Police are lazy and dumb. 2) You both like to sensationalize things to make us all us sheep believe you are here for us. Or maybe it’s both? I will let you pick.

  17. Michael Le says:

    I wonder how many constitutional right that were taken away from this kid. Poor guy is probably still in Jail because the Police goofed this one. Or maybe the Police is working on a story? Or maybe the Police are digging deep for dirt so they can get him on something else.

  18. Kevin Phillip Hoctor says:

    lol, Tony and a few others seem to have the intelligence to join the local police agency.

  19. Matt Rocketcandy says:

    Kid’s family should hide their dog…

    Seriously, the boy should be released, and the charges dropped. I realize that he was driving without a license, but the cop could not have known that before he pulled him over. This whole situation stinks. PS: The local reaction to this only further cements the image that the rest of the nation has of your state.