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Man Accused of Making 7 Prank 911 Calls Arrested for Arson

San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix

August 26, 2010

BOULDER CREEK – A man on probation for arson, who allegedly tried to burn down the Mountain Store in Boulder Creek on Saturday, was arrested Tuesday after making seven prank calls to 911.

Three unidentified young men spotted the fire just before midnight Saturday and extinguished the flames sparing the building from significant damage. By the time deputies and Boulder Creek firefighters arrived at the store, at 125 Pool Drive, the fire was out, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Campos.

Larry Bourdeau, a 64-year-old Boulder Creek man, was arrested at his McGaffigan Mill Road home around 5 a.m. Tuesday after he allegedly dialed 911 on every pay telephone in Boulder Creek and left the phones off the hook between midnight and 4 a.m.

When another “open line” 911 call was made around 4:30 a.m., a deputy tracked down Bourdeau and watched him call emergency dispatchers again. Bourdeau is suspected of making seven unnecessary 911 calls, according to Campos.

Within hours sheriff’s deputies linked Bourdeau to the attempted arson and booked him on that crime as well, according to Campos.


Larry Bourdeau

Bourdeau is suspected of setting fire to a bulletin board attached to the front of the market because of a problem he’d had with the shop owner. The fire was reported around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

“Were it not for the actions of the unknown males, the store may have been lost,” Campos said in a prepared statement.

Footage from a surveillance camera later showed Bourdeau allegedly starting the blaze and the three teenagers putting it out, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Bourdeau has a lengthy criminal history, including arrests in Santa Cruz, San Benito and Yolo counties. He is on probation for a 2009 arson conviction: He lit a stack of newspapers on fire in front of a Santa Cruz liquor store on New Year’s Eve 2008, according to court records.

In court documents, Bourdeau identifies himself as a jeweler and a self-employed Civil War re-enactor. The court records also indicate he has a history of mental illness that requires medication.

Bourdeau is being held in County Jail on $25,000, according to jail records.

Campos noted that the teens credited with saving the Mountain Store have not been identified and deputies would like to speak with them. Deputies ask anyone with information about the fire to call the Investigation Division at 454-2311.