Crime

Friends of one of the suspects in a string of early-morning fires Sunday are expressing disbelief he was involved in starting them.

Police announced Monday that they had arrested Stephen Michael Petersen, 27, of Alameda and Andrew Resto Gutierrez, 22, in connection with seven fires set at homes and businesses early Sunday, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage. No one was injured as a result of the fires.

The pair were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and were being held in Santa Rita Jail in lieu of bail.

Police arrested a 19-year-old Alameda man and cited a 15-year-old youth in connection with the Wednesday evening stabbing of a 23-year-old man in Jackson Park.

Police have arrested a student who they said brandished a BB gun near the Esperanza housing complex Thursday morning. The suspect's name is not being released because he is a juvenile.

Visitors to a crowded corner of Park Street said they got a scare Saturday when police drew their weapons on a man they said they believed to be armed with a gun, sending some scrambling for cover.

Police are urging East End residents to be vigilant and to lock their doors and windows due to a rash of thefts from cars and also, a series of burglaries that occurred while residents were at home.

Alamedans reported roughly the same number of crimes in 2013 that they did the year before, newly released data show, after two years of seeing crime numbers decline.

Police received 2,079 reports of violent and property crime in 2013, compared with 2,069 in 2012, uniform crime reporting data released by the Alameda Police Department show. In 2010, Alameda police received 2,147 reports of violent and property crime.

Last week the Alameda Police Department initiated a field test of an automated license plate recognition system. Within 60 minutes, the officer using it reclaimed a stolen car.

Photo courtesy of Cendrine McNeil.

Police are continuing to investigate a man who they said crashed his Dodge Ram truck into cars along Fernside Boulevard and Windsor Drive on Monday evening. The man's actions damaged 10 cars, including his own, but no one was injured.

"The good part of it was, nobody was in any of those cars. Nobody got hurt," Alameda Police Lt. Jill Ottaviano said.

An In-N-Out Burger in San Leandro. Photo by Michele Ellson.

Plans to build a new In-N-Out Burger at the foot of the Webster Tube have sparked concerns that the hamburger restaurant will attract crime, with hundreds of residents voicing their opposition to the planned restaurant over crime, traffic and other concerns. Even District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has weighed in, asking the Planning Board on July 23 to consider the crime she thinks the restaurant could bring.

Alameda police are trying to find the person whose threatening phone call to Alameda High School office staff led to a nearly two-hour lockdown of the campus Monday afternoon.