Leads sought in Alpine arson attempt | SierraSun.com

Leads sought in Alpine arson attempt

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

Placer County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for help in investigating an attempted arson in Alpine Meadows.

Two employees of the Alpine Springs County Water District discovered broken glass and burnt material June 13 and reported the suspicious contents to the sheriff’s department.

The water district office, next door to the North Tahoe Fire station, is located at the east end of Alpine Meadows road and serves about 650 customers.

“We’re basically appealing to the community if anyone knows anything about it,” said North Tahoe Fire Battalion Chief Dave Ruben.

Fortunately, the Molotov cocktail landed on asphalt between the two buildings and did no damage to either one, said John Collins, the water district’s general manager.

“A Molotov cocktail is actually an explosive device,” said Placer Sheriff’s Sgt. Helen Thompson. “Had they thrown it at the building, it very well could have burned the building down.”

Investigators are considering a possible link between the attempted arson and previous harassment, Ruben said. In the spring of 2006 the water district received anonymous threatening letters related to recent changes in the water content.

“It’s of concern to us,” Collins said.

Sheriff’s detectives are at a stand-still, Ruben said, because there were no witnesses at the scene and investigators currently have no leads.

“It certainly could have been kids, but all the investigators, including myself, thought it was kind of weird,” Ruben said.

Over the past few years there have been a handful of other incidents involving Molotov cocktails in the North Tahoe area including at Sunnyside Market and in Kings Beach.

Generally, the perpetrators are trying to make a statement, Ruben said.

Investigators are asking for the community’s help. Anybody who saw something suspicious or noticed similar materials should contact Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. Helen Thompson at 581-6330.