Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

Police: Arson Fire At Chula Vista Nonprofit Was Not Politically Motivated

Fire damage at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment office ...

Photo by Megan Burks

Above: Fire damage at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment office is shown, Nov. 12, 2018.

Chula Vista police have arrested 28-year-old Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins as the alleged arsonist behind a fire at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment office Friday.

The fire was thought to be politically motivated, but Jenkins told investigators he lit it because of an ongoing dispute with the property management company and its tenants over the disposal of his belongings. Jenkins is homeless and might have been residing on the property without permission, Lt. Kenny Heinz said in a press release.

Police also believe Jenkins is responsible for burglaries at the property in January and June.

“There wasn’t any evidence that the crimes were in any way politically motivated or related to any hate crimes,” Capt. Phil Collum said.

In detailing the fire on social media and to reporters, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, said they believed they were targeted for their work in support of two contentious rent control measures this election. They had received threatening messages, and the fire originated where campaign signs were stored.

“Given the information that we had and the political moment that we are in, many of us feared that the attack was politically motivated,” the group said in a press release. “We are relieved to hear that this wasn’t the case.

“We note with regret that the arsonist was an unhoused person,” it continued. “The sad irony is that ACCE fights for housing rights. No one should have to suffer from acts of violence like this one. And no one should be subject to the challenges that the most vulnerable sections of our society face as a result of the housing crisis.”

ACCE said donations that poured in from across the country will go toward helping it rebuild in Chula Vista so it can continue serving the community.

Jenkins will be booked into county jail on arson and burglary charges.

Chula Vista police have arrested 28-year-old Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins as the alleged arsonist behind a fire at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment office Friday.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.