HomeCrimeSuspect identified in SF Chinatown Waymo arson

Suspect identified in SF Chinatown Waymo arson

San Francisco police identified a teenager suspected of setting a Waymo autonomous vehicle on fire in Chinatown during Lunar New Year celebrations in February.

The District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the 14-year-old boy suspected of arson, The San Francisco Standard reported. The decision of whether he will be arrested or appear in court out of custody will lie with the Juvenile Probation Department. 

The unoccupied Waymo robotaxi was set ablaze the evening of Feb. 10. The vehicle was surrounded by several dozen people who were seen breaking its windows and vandalizing it with graffiti, according to The San Francisco Standard. No injuries were reported. 

On March 27, the San Francisco Police Department’s Arson Task Force obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence, where they recovered evidence from the incident. The suspect’s name remains confidential due to his age, NBC Bay Area reported. 

“It’s important in these moments that we both condemn acts of vandalism, but also not lose sight of who we are as a city. We are a city that treasures celebrations like Lunar New Year that honor our cultural heritage and diverse communities. We are a city that is home to exciting, emerging technologies, like autonomous vehicles, that are changing the world. We are a city that is rich in culture, ideas, and pride,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed in a press release about the incident. 

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