General Crime

* San Jose Investigators Following Leads on Arson Fires

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San Jose police said today they are following leads in three arsons early Sunday morning, including one that displaced a dozen people. The most extensive damage occurred at a home in the 800 block of South 11th Street. A California Highway Patrol officer driving on Interstate Highway 280 at about 2:15 a.m. spotted smoke coming from the home. He exited the highway and drove toward the smoke, and found a silver Dodge Durango on fire in a carport, fire Capt. Barry Stallard said. The officer reported spotting two juvenile suspects nearby, but they got away, police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said. The fire spread from the carport to the rest of the house before firefighters contained it at about 2:45 a.m. The Silicon Valley chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting 12 residents who were displaced, including five adults and seven children. Lopez said the residents were home at the time of the fire. Red Cross volunteers responded at about 4:15 a.m. and set up the displaced residents with a three-night stay at a local hotel, food, clothing, and emotional assistance, spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw said. Lopez said police found a camera attached to a tree in front of the house and are in the process of determining whether it was recording. Police are investigating whether the blaze was connected to two other fires that morning, including an arson reported at 1:13 a.m. in the 1700 block of Magnolia Tree Court near Fair Avenue, where someone attempted to burn two houses in a cul-de-sac, Lopez said. At about 4:35 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Jennings Drive on a report of another residential fire that appeared to have been intentionally set. Damage in both of those fires was minor and no occupants were displaced or injured.  “We suspect there may be some connection between them, but we can’t confirm that definitively,” Lopez said. He said the methods with which the homes were lit and evidence recovered indicate the fires were arson, but how the homes were burned isn’t being disclosed due to the ongoing investigation. Lopez said there is a possibility the arsons were gang related, but that the motive is unclear. Please call the Fugitive Watch hot line at 1-800-9-CAUGHT (1-800-922-8448) or text us at 408-355-0999 or CLICK HERE to send a confidential email tip, if you have any information that can help solve this crime.

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