Car Torched Outside UC President's Home

Volkswagon destroyed behind gated community

Arson investigators are investigating a car fire in Oakland this morning.  The suspected arson is getting extra attention because it happened near the home of the president of the entire University of California system Mark Yudof.

The car was parked across the street from where Yudof lives. Investigators would not say who owned the car, other than to say it was not Yudof's.

The president was driven away from his neighborhood just before 9 a.m. and did not comment to reporters.

The media is being kept away from the scene because the fire happened behind a private gated area.

No one was hurt in the fire that was first reported around 3 a.m.

The first call that came in to 911 reported a car bomb, according to Alameda County Sheriff's public information officer Sgt. J.D. Nelson

Authorities say no explosive material was found at the scene, but say it appears the car was intentionally set on fire.

Reporters are only being told the car was a Volkswagen and that is was destroyed by flames.  It is not clear if the fire has any connection to the president, other than its location.

Yudof was named president of the University of California on March 27, 2008.  He took office three months later.

He has been the focus of protests in recent weeks because of planned budget cuts to the U.C. system.

The UC union commented on the incident late Thursday, saying they want Yudof to lose his job and not his car.  The statement also said the union was alarmed by the report.

"We don't know if this event was coincidental or aimed at Yudof, but if it was, we oppose actions of this sort," Carolan Buckmaster said. Buckmaster is a staff research associate and campus president of the University Professional and Technical Employees union at UC San Diego.

Buckmaster went on to say it was a shame the incident happened just days before UC employees and students are set to hold a vote of no confidence against Yudof. 

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