Arson Update: Suspect Nabbed

DATE:  August 13, 2020

Incident Number: 2020-19823 

Crime/Incident: 451 PC (Arson) 

Location: UPDATED LOCATIONS in Ukiah Valley:

  • South Dora Street near Fircrest Drive
  • South Dora Street at Bourbon Lane
  • Gobalet Lane at South State Street
  • Plant Road near Taylor Drive
  • End of Airport Park Boulevard
  • Babcock Lane near Talmage Bridge (4 separate fires)

Date of Incident: 08-12-2020 

Time: 4:55 PM  to  6:57 PM 

Victim(s): N/A 

Suspect(s): Alberto Vincent Acosta  (32 year-old male from Ukiah, CA) 

Written By: Captain Gregory L. Van Patten  #1184 

Synopsis:
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE:

Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office continued investigations into the late evening hours of 08-12-2020 in regards to the suspected arson fires.

During this time, Detectives interviewed an off-duty Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Corrections Deputy who had been driving in the area of the Talmage Bridge at the approximate time of the fires on Babcock Lane. 

The Corrections Deputy noticed the presence of Alberto Acosta near the area of the fire and provided that information along with Acosta's description to Detectives.

Detectives were able to collect footage from surveillance video systems from residences and businesses near some of the fires. 

The observations of the Corrections Deputy and the video systems footage established evidence which prompted Detectives to issue a Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) notification to local law enforcement agencies for Acosta's arrest.

On 08-13-2020 at approximately 7:00 AM an officer from the Ukiah Police Department was on routine patrol in the area of Perkins Street and South Orchard Avenue when he noticed Acosta walking in the area.  The officer stopped Acosta and he was subsequently released to Sheriff's Office Detectives.

Acosta was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of 451(b) PC [Arson of inhabited structure], 451(c) PC [Arson of structure or forest land] and 454(a)(2) PC [Arson during a state of emergency].  Acosta was to be held in lieu of $1,000,000.00 bail.

Acosta

Sheriff's Office Detectives have linked Acosta to the 08-12-2020 fires that occurred at the following locations (see attached map/approximate times):

  • 4:56 PM - South Dora Street near Fircrest Drive
  • 4:58 PM - South Dora Street at Bourbon Lane
  • 5:04 PM - Gobalet Lane at South State Street
  • 5:15 PM - Plant Road near Taylor Drive
  • 5:18 PM - End of Airport Park Boulevard
  • 6:14 PM to 6:19 PM - Babcock Lane near Talmage Bridge (4 separate fires)

Sheriff's Detectives are continuing to ask for the public's assistance in obtaining security camera footage to assist in this investigation. 

If any business/residence has security camera footage of the outside of their business/home depicting the person described in this press release, during the time frame of 4:50 PM to 6:57 PM on 08-12-2020, then please contact the Sheriff's Office Tipline by calling 707-234-2100.

The areas of interest for security camera footage in Ukiah are:

  • Luce Avenue to South Dora Street
  • South Dora Street to Oak Court Road
  • South State Street to Gobalet Lane
  • Plant Road
  • Norgard Lane near the railroad tracks
  • Airport Park Boulevard
  • Airport Road
  • Babcock Lane from Talmage Road to East Gobbi Street

The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol, County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force for their assistance during this investigation.

The Sheriff's Office would also like to thank CALFIRE, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Hopland Fire Department, Redwood Valley Fire Department and Potter Valley Fire Department for their response and fire suppression efforts during this incident.

At this time it appears the fires caused damage to vegetation and the wooden deck of one residence. 


previously...


FIRE EVACUATION WARNING FOR SOUTH UKIAH (Wednesday evening) —

An MSP poster reported about 5:30pm:

“Four fires in [south] Ukiah currently BOLO out for arson suspect. Behind Walmart, Grace Hudson School, railroad tracks by airport and South Dora.” A Calfire helicopter was seen flying over the area. At 5:15 the Sheriff posted an evacuation warning for Jefferson Lane to Oak Knoll. “From So. Dora just west of FirCrest apartmetns and Oak Knoll. If you live on any of the streets in this area be prepared to evacuate. Sheriff reportedly looking for "Indian or Hispanic adult male in all black clothing with pony tail on bicycle last seen in South Ukiah. Please call 911 if you see anyone matching this description."


(Photo by Dave Buerger)

ARSONIST SETS SIX FIRES IN SOUTH UKIAH WEDNESDAY EVENING

Sheriff Seek’s Public’s Help In Search For Arsonist 

Incident Number: 2020-19823 (10:15PM Wednesday, 8/12/20)

Crime/Incident: 451 PC (Arson)

Location: Ukiah Valley:

  • South Dora Street near Fircrest Drive
  • Gobalet Lane near South State Street
  • Highway 253 near South State Street
  • Plant Road near Taylor Drive
  • End of Airport Park Boulevard (2 times)
  • Babcock Lane near Talmage Bridge

Date of Incident: 08-12-2020

Time: 4:55 PM to 6:57 PM

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 4:55 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a fire on South Dora Street near the intersection of Fircrest Drive in Ukiah, California.

As Deputies were arriving at the scene, a separate fire was reported on Gobalet Lane near South Street Street approximately 1.5 miles to the south.

As Deputies were also arriving at this scene, they noticed another fire on Highway 253 near South State Street which was approximately 1/2 mile to the south.

Deputies began providing evacuation warnings to the public located in these areas when another fire was reported on Plant Road near Taylor Drive in the approximate area to the fires on Gobalet Lane and Highway 253.

As Deputies were contacting the public they learned several people had seen a person who they believed was intentionally starting the fires.

This person was reportedly a Native American or Hispanic adult male. He was described has having a ponytail, wearing black clothing and riding a bicycle.

Deputies began searching the area for the person with the assistance of the Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol, County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force.

For approximately two hours, several people matching the person's description were contacted by law enforcement personnel but the contacts did not yield the person suspected of committing the acts of arson.

During the two hour period, there were three additional fires with two being located at the end of Airport Park Boulevard and one being located on Babcock Lane near the Talmage bridge.

Personnel from CALFIRE, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Hopland Fire Department responded quickly to each fire scene. Once arriving they were able to quickly contain the spread of the fires and were successful in get them extinguished.

Sheriff's Detectives are continuing investigations into the fires which are believed to be acts of arson at this time.

Investigators are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the person who is believed to have committed these acts of arson.

If anyone living in the following areas has security camera footage of the outside of their home depicting the person described in this press release, during the time frame of 4:50 PM to 6:57 PM on 08-12-2020, then please contact the Sheriff's Office Tipline by calling 707-234-2100.

The areas of interest for security camera footage are:

  • South Dora Street from Fircrest Drive to MeadowBrook Drive
  • Fircrest Drive to South State Street
  • Oak Knoll Road to South State Street
  • Fairview Court to South State Street
  • South State Street from Fircrest to Highway 253
  • Gobalet Lane
  • Plant Road
  • Airport Park Boulevard
  • Babcock Lane

2 Responses to "Arson Update: Suspect Nabbed"

  1. Douglas Coulter   August 13, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Sounds like Jerome, native local who rides a black bicycle and loves to destroy property. Sitting with the homeless behind Jack In The Box in a clean blue tee shirt at about 6:30 PM with his black bicycle
    He lived in Coors building and most likely started fires that destroyed both train station area buildings in the last year.
    I call him, “the man with no medicine” after he destroyed his homeless girlfriends tent in Ft Bragg 2014

    Reply
    • Lazarus   August 13, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      Sherriff logs say they got a guy for arson in Ukiah, could be the guy. The bail was 1 mil.
      Stay well,
      Laz

      Reply

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