Bay Area/ San Jose/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 18, 2024
66-Year-Old Cupertino Man Charged in String of Targeted Arson and Vandalism Incidents in San CarlosSource: Google Street View

A string of malicious incidents in San Carlos came to a close last week with the arrest of a suspect connected to both arson and vandalism. In a recent update from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, officials detailed the culmination of a months-long investigation that began on February 4 following a vandalism report at a residence on Coleman Ct. in San Carlos.

The initial incident involved property damage, where deputies discovered graffiti sprayed on a garage and slashed tires. On May 16, the deputies were again dispatched to the same address to respond to a vehicle fire that severely damaged two cars and parts of the home. The Redwood City Fire Department quickly intervened to extinguish the blaze. Later investigations, conducted jointly by the Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department, led them to confirm the act of arson. Deputies used numerous investigative techniques to eventually piece together the evidence—evidence that led them to conclusively identify 66-year-old Cupertino resident Mark S. Alexander as the suspect in both the arson and earlier vandalism.

Investigators revealed that Alexander was acquainted with the victim, suggesting the incidents were targeted attacks rather than random acts of vandalism. On June 13, Alexander was located and taken into custody without incident. Following his apprehension, he was booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility, facing charges for both crimes.

Instrumental in identifying the suspect were automated license plate readers within the City of San Carlos. These tools, alongside the Sheriff’s Office's continued effort, were essential in closing the case. The Sheriff’s Office publicly acknowledged the cooperation of the Redwood City Fire Department and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, whose contributions were pivotal to the resolution of this case and the apprehension of Alexander. This cooperative effort not only helps to gradually restore a sense of community safety but also underscores the importance of inter-agency collaboration in solving local crimes that shake the fabric of community trust.