MILPITAS (CBS SF) — Police announced the arrest of a woman, identified as Kali Lynn Farrell of Fremont, who allegedly set off a smoke bomb in a Walmart store last year.

Milpitas Police Department said the incident happened in August and Farrell was arrested in September, but investigators withheld the information from the public to allow the investigation into the placement of the device to continue.

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The 25-year-old Farrell faces charges of arson and being in possession of an incendiary device. At the time of the incident, she had an outstanding $10,000 arrest warrant for a narcotics violation, police said.

The on-duty manager of the Walmart store at 301 Ranch Drive called the Milpitas Police Department at roughly 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 to report the smell of smoke inside the store. Milpitas Fire Department personnel subsequently found a suspicious device wrapped in plastic with black electrical tape and an exposed detonation cord.

Walmart management and Milpitas police officers evacuated the store to allow the San Jose Police Department’s Bomb Squad and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office’s Explosives Ordnance Detection Canine Team to examine the device.

Bomb squad members and investigators determined the area and the device to be safe at 10:26 p.m. The Milpitas Fire Department later determined the device to be constructed with smoke balls and a wireless detonator.

Investigators believe Farrell allegedly placed the device in the store to test its efficacy prior to using it as a distraction for a future theft attempt.

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Detectives linked physical evidence at the scene and surveillance footage to Farrell and interviewed her regarding the device’s placement.

After the investigation and Farrell’s arrest, detectives believe there are no other outstanding suspects or local threats.

Residents who may have additional information on the device’s placement in the store can contact the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Tipsters seeking to remain anonymous can contact the MPD crime tip hotline at (408) 586-2500.


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