MENDOCINO Co., 8/19/20 — Ukiah police have arrested an alleged arsonist, Kristine Lynn Tupper, a 46 year old Ukiah woman, who reportedly confessed to setting several fires in Ukiah on Sunday, August 18. However, the UPD is still seeking information, believing that another person intentionally lit a number of small fires in Ukiah on late Tuesday evening, August 18.
There have been a number of suspected arson fires in the Ukiah area over the last week, including a string of fires on Wednesday, August 12, several more on Sunday evening, August 16, and several more last night on Tuesday, August 18. The Ukiah Valley Fire Department along with assisting agencies has been able to contain and control the majority of the fires very quickly, with assistance from residents in some cases, while law enforcement has conducted extensive searches, including identifying video surveillance footage of the alleged suspects. So far, two people, including Tupper and Alberto Acosta, have been arrested in connection with the suspected arsons on the 16th and the 12th, respectively. UPD is seeking more information regarding last night’s fires.
Here’s the press release from UPD concerning the fires on August 18, followed by the press release concerning the arrest:
On 8/18/2020 at approx. 2143 hours, UPD Officers were dispatched to the area of 1200 Airport Park Boulevard for a report of a vegetation fire. UPD Officers arrived on scene and located three separate vegetation fires in the area. Ukiah Valley Fire Department and Cal Fire firefighters arrived on scene and began extinguishing the fires.
As the fires were being extinguished, UPD Officers were notified of another fire along the railroad tracks in the vicinity of 900 Waugh Lane. A UPD Officer arrived on scene and worked to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher from the patrol vehicle. As the Officer was awaiting the fire department, another fire was reported in the area of E. Gobbi Street and Village Circle along the railroad tracks. UPD Officers located another fire that had been set in the vegetation.
UPD Officers as well as the Ukiah Valley Fire Department determined that the fires had been intentionally set and began investigating the fires as acts of arson.
On 8/19/2020 at approx. 0148 hours, A UPD Officer on patrol located a fire on the railroad tracks between Clara Street and Ford Street. The UVFD and Cal Fire again responded and extinguished the blaze. As the Officer was investigating this fire, the UPD was notified of another vegetation fire in in the 400 block of Oak Manor Drive. Both of these fires are being investigated as arson as well.
At approx. 0445 hours, UPD Officers were again dispatched to a vegetation fire, this time in the 700 block of E. Gobbi Street. The fire was extinguished and UPD began another arson investigation.
UPD and the Ukiah Valley Fire Department in all are currently investigating 8 separate arsons which occurred in the city limits overnight between 8/18/2020 and 8/19/2020. Anyone who may have witnessed any of these fires or any individuals who may be responsible for setting them is urged to contact the UPD at 707-463-6262.
The Ukiah Police Department would like to remind the great citizens of Ukiah that during the current COVID-19 pandemic we are still out in the city enforcing the law and keeping the public safe. As always, our mission at the Ukiah Police Department is to make Ukiah as safe as possible. Additionally, the UPD would like to thank the Ukiah Valley Fire Department, Cal Fire and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response and assistance with these fires.
Prepared by: Sgt. Murray # 329
Here’s the UPD press release concerning today’s arrest:
Press Release – UPD Cases #20-1733 & #20-1734 – Arsons
On 8/16/2020 at approx. 0621 hours, UPD Officers were dispatched to 814 N. State Street regarding a report of a fire behind the business. UPD Officers arrived on scene and located a debris pile behind the business that was on fire and threatening the structure. UPD Officers retrieved fire extinguishers from their patrol vehicles and used them to stop the progress of the fire enough until UVFD firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished it completely. The fire burned the debris pile and scorched the back side of the building causing minor damage.
As UPD Officers were investigating the above fire, they observed black smoke rising from behind 955 N. State Street. UPD Officers responded to the area and located a dumpster behind the building which was engulfed in flames. UVFD arrived on scene and extinguished the blaze. UPD Officers continued their investigation into the above fires and were able to obtain video surveillance from a nearby business showing a female adult setting the dumpster ablaze.
On 8/18/2020 at approx. 1800 hours, UPD Officers came into contact with a female adult who matched the description of the arsonist. UPD Officers identified her as Kristine Lynn Tupper, a 46-year-old transient from Ukiah. UPD Officers interviewed Tupper regarding the arsons and she admitted to starting them. Tupper was arrested for violations of 451(c) PC (Arson of structure or forest land), 451(d) PC (Arson of property) and 1203.2(a) PC (Violation of probation).
Due to the circumstances surrounding Tupper’s arrest, UPD Officers contacted the on-call Judge and requested a bail enhancement for the offenses. A bail enhancement was granted in the amount of $100,000. Tupper was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the above offenses. The Ukiah Police Department would like to remind the great citizens of Ukiah that during the current COVID-19 pandemic we are still out in the city enforcing the law and keeping the public safe. As always, our mission at the Ukiah Police Department is to make Ukiah as safe as possible.
Prepared by: Sgt. Murray #329