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Copycats and bomb threats, after attacks, leave public on edge

Adam Crane, 24, stands beside defense attorney Laura Finn at the start of his dangerousness hearing at Woburn District Court in Woburn, Massachusetts June 11, 2013. Crane allegedly set off pipe bombs in his backyard.
Adam Crane, 24, stands beside defense attorney Laura Finn at the start of his dangerousness hearing at Woburn District Court in Woburn, Massachusetts June 11, 2013. Crane allegedly set off pipe bombs in his backyard.Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

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Adam Crane, a 24-year-old truck driver recently discharged from the Army, allegedly set off small pipe bombs in his backyard and at the Burlington reservoir, once blowing up a watermelon.

His lawyer calls Crane an “immature kid who allegedly did something stupid.” But police aren’t taking him so lightly. They have charged Crane, who has no criminal record, with throwing an explosive device, which carries a minimum sentence of 2 ½ years.

In the wake of the April 15 bomb attacks near the Boston Marathon finish line, people have become more vigilant, reporting suspicious and unattended packages in huge numbers. State police say they also have seen more hoax devices and copycat incidents. But are officials, still rattled by the attacks, overreacting to smaller cases?

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