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Police find explosives stored in trunk of Beverly man’s car

SALEM — A Beverly man with “homicidal tendencies” is being held without bail on charges that he assembled two dozen homemade explosives and stored them in the trunk of his car with eight gallons of gasoline, officials said.

Stefan Jovic, 23, was recently placed in a psychiatric facility, where he told personnel about the explosive devices, a prosecutor said at Jovic’s arraignment Tuesday.

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On Aug. 13, security at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston notified police, who found 24 mason jars containing gasoline and oil.

The jars were sealed with pieces of cloth designed as fuses, the prosecutor said.

“These were prepared Molotov cocktails,” said Alexander Grimes, assistant district attorney for Essex County.

A K-9 team detected gasoline in the trunk, and investigators opened the trunk remotely.

The explosives were stored in trash bags hidden under a black suitcase.

Police also found a crossbow in the car.

Jovic’s car was parked in a driveway at his apartment on Beckford Street, a busy road near the center of town, Grimes said.

According to court records, doctors had described Jovic as having “homicidal tendencies.”

Jovic will be held without bail until a Sept. 2 hearing to determine whether he poses a threat to the public.

A mental health evaluation is scheduled for Wednesday.

In a search of Jovic’s apartment, police seized his laptop and about a dozen notebooks, Grimes said.

According to Grimes, police are continuing to investigate.

Jovic showed no emotion during the hearing.

According to court records, a neighbor told police that Jovic often fought with his mother and had a “bad temper.”

Jovic’s lawyer, Nathan Ulrich, said Jovic had symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia for two years.

He was hospitalized about a week ago when he expressed feelings of “wanting to harm others” to his psychiatrist.

At Beth Israel, Jovic has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, Ulrich said.

But under supervision and medication, he has shown signs of improvement, his lawyer said.

“He’s very coherent,” Ulrich said after the hearing.

Peter Schworm can be reached at peter.schworm@globe.com.
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