Crime - Sacto 911

Apparent arson attempt closes Yolo courthouse

An apparent arson attempt briefly closed Yolo County’s main Woodland courthouse Wednesday morning as investigators sought leads into the overnight incident.

Security officers at about 6 a.m. found charred wood pallets stuffed with newspaper at four entrances to the historic courthouse at 725 Court St., leaving several of the doors damaged. The doors’ card lock readers also showed evidence of tampering, said Yolo Superior Court Executive Officer Shawn Landry.

Yolo County sheriff’s deputies evacuated staffers and gathered evidence, Landry said. Court staffers were allowed to return at 9:30 a.m., but the early morning discovery delayed the court’s 8:30 a.m. start, pushing hearings to 10 a.m.

“It just caused an inconvenience,” Landry said, adding he was confident that the culprit or culprits will be found. Court officials said they are relying on camera images and other security technology to help find those responsible.

“The Sheriff’s department has opened an investigation and we have every reason to believe that that investigation will help us determine the person or persons who are responsible for that attempt,” said Yolo Superior Court Presiding Judge Steven Basha, in a statement.