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Owner of car holding bomb is charged with arson Man also accused of filing a false auto theft report


The owner of a car found parked on a downtown street Tuesday with a makeshift bomb inside was arrested and charged yesterday with arson.

Zhong I. Wang, 31, who has addresses in New York and Northwest Baltimore, was charged after he agreed to be interviewed by arson detectives yesterday, a police spokesman said.

Wang was charged with arson and filing a false car theft report. He was being held at the Central Booking and Intake Center yesterday, awaiting a bail hearing. Police said they had not determined a motive.

Wang and his family could not be reached for comment.

Wang's 1990 black Nissan Maxima was found parked in the 100 block of E. Lombard St. about 11: 30 a.m. Tuesday. Police said three containers of gasoline were connected by a series of wicks inside.

Police said one of the wicks had been ignited, but the fire burned itself out before reaching the gasoline. The interior of the car was singed.

Police closed off six square blocks north of the Inner Harbor until 2 p.m., causing long delays for motorists. Many reported taking an hour to travel five blocks.

Yesterday, police blamed the problems on the car's owner, who has an address on East 69th Street in New York City and in the 2500 block of Steele Road in Northwest Baltimore. Police said he reported the car stolen from the Baltimore address Tuesday.

Insurance agents at Allstate, who spoke on the condition they not be named, said Wang filed a claim with them on Tuesday. But agents who inspected the car Tuesday night were skeptical because, they said, the car's steering column and locks had not been damaged.

It could not be learned yesterday how much the insurance claim was for.

Pub Date: 4/03/97

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