Homeless man sentenced for torching South Bay office

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A transient who set fire to the office of a South Bay community group last fall was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison.

Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins, 28, pleaded guilty to arson last month for setting fire to the Chula Vista headquarters of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment shortly after midnight on Nov. 9, causing major damage to the structure and its contents.

Jenkins was also believed to have burglarized the H Street office in January and June of last year, Chula Vista police Lt. Kenny Heinz said.

While investigating the crimes, detectives learned that Jenkins “might have been residing on the property without permission from the property management company,” Heinz said previously.

“Jenkins told detectives that he was having an ongoing dispute with the tenants over the disposal of his personal property and committed the arson because of the dispute,” the lieutenant said.

Members of ACCE — which advocates on behalf of minorities and low-income residents, and was a prominent proponent of rent-control measures on this month’s election ballot — initially feared that the blaze was meant to intimidate them due to the nature of their work.

“We did not know who set the office on fire or their motivation, but 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 organization stated in a social media post around the time of Jenkins’ arrest. “According to the police, this wasn’t the case.”

Heinz said investigators found “no evidence that these crimes were politically motivated or related to any hate crimes.”

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