Police: Tri-Valley arson suspect arrested after crashing into 7-Eleven gas pumps

Man accused of setting fire to vehicles, business amid police chase

A 34-year-old man suspected of setting three cars and a building on fire in Dublin was arrested early Friday after crashing into convenience store gas pumps in Livermore, authorities said.

Michaelis Brown was taken into custody after colliding with the pumps at a 7-Eleven store on the corner of Las Positas and South Vasco roads, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Dublin police initially put out an alert after a suspicious car was seen slowly circling businesses in the area of 6400 Sierra Court at about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The car, a black Toyota Camry, failed to pull over when police arrived and officers chased it onto westbound Interstate 580 and northbound I-680 before ending the pursuit.

A short time later, the California Highway Patrol located the same vehicle traveling east on I-580 near the Airway Boulevard exit.

The CHP tried to pull over the suspect car, but once again the driver failed to yield and drove at speeds of up to 115 mph.

The suspect's car exited at Vasco Road and eventually made it to Las Positas Road, where it went through a parking lot and while it headed south in the northbound lane, it rammed a CHP cruiser, police said.

After that, officers lost sight of the car and the chase was terminated.

A witness later contacted the CHP to report that a Toyota had crashed into the gas pumps at the 7-Eleven at South Vasco and Las Positas roads. The driver fled, but the CHP located the man -- later identified as Brown -- and took him into custody without further incident.

No injuries were reported.

When Dublin police returned to the area where the Toyota was first reported, in the 6400 block of Sierra Court, they found three vehicles engulfed in flames.

They also found an exterior wall to a rental car business on fire. The Alameda County Fire Department responded and extinguished both blazes.

Damage to the cars is estimated at $200,000, police said.

Evidence relating to suspected arson was found on Brown as well as in his car. Brown was placed under arrest for the pursuit, assault with a deadly weapon and arson.

Dublin police and the Alameda County Fire Department arson investigators continue to investigate the incident.

— Bay City News Service

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