Palatine police are investigating eight rudimentary chemical bombs found Sunday afternoon scattered throughout a condominium courtyard near Palatine High School.
A man saw the suspicious bottles at the Randville Condominiums complex and called 911 about 1:15 p.m. reporting "numerous MacGyver-type bombs," said police Cmdr. Kurt Schroeder.
Palatine authorities immediately roped off the area on the 1100 block of East Randville Drive and called the Cook County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad, which arrived about 2:30 p.m. and "neutralized and disposed" of the devices.
No one was injured.
"They're devices where the pressure builds and builds and builds and then explodes," Schroeder said. "They usually involve a plastic bottle containing some sort of chemical compound."
The homemade devices ranged in size from 16 ounces to a gallon, Schroeder said. He didn't know exactly what type of chemicals they contained. The man who called 911 told police he didn't see anybody put the bottles in the courtyard.
Detectives are investigating but currently have no suspects.
Cook County Sheriff's Office spokesman Frank Bilecki said the devices could have caused damage up to about a 100-foot radius. Authorities declined to say how the bottles were constructed or what they contained to deter copycats. Depending on the contents, the devices can take minutes or several hours to explode.
Despite the proximity to the high school, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 Tom Petersen said school officials weren't made aware of the situation.
"We do have police resource officers in our building, so if the situation warranted our involvement, we'd work with them," Petersen said.
Anyone with information should call Palatine police at (847) 359-9000.