Suspect in San Jose explosives case allegedly blew up PG&E equipment

A San Jose man who was arrested for allegedly having explosives and drug-making materials in his home was charged Friday by prosecutors with being involved in two recent blasts that damaged PG&E equipment and left at least 1,000 customers without power. 

San Jose police said that Peter Karasev, 36, is connected to an explosion on Jan. 5 in a PG&E equipment box on Snell Avenue in South San Jose. They claimed there is also evidence tying him to another explosion of PG&E property on Dec. 8, 2022, on Thornwood Drive. Prosecutors said the methods and explosives used, and even the type of PG&E equipment targeted, helped them to link the two cases. 

"Peter Karasev carried out two attacks on critical infrastructure," said Victoria Robinson, a Santa Clara County deputy district attorney. 

The married father of three children – ages 1, 3 and 5 –  was ordered to be held without bail when he was arraigned on Friday. Prosecutors charged him with arson, interfering with electrical lines and endangering his children who live in the home that allegedly contained the explosive materials. The arson charges specify the "deadly and dangerous weapon" used was a bomb. 

In a statement, PG&E said:  "PG&E takes seriously the protection of critical infrastructure, and we appreciate the responsive action of the SJPD."

Local, state and federal authorities will be investigating Karasev's home on Potomac Court for several days, police said. 

Officer Steve Aponte, a spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department, said detectives have been working tirelessly on this case once it was determined explosives were involved. 

"Detectives immediately took up the case. Bomb technicians also responded to the scene and collected evidence and did a forensic investigation to confirm that, in fact, explosive devices were ignited at that time," Aponte said.  Aponte said PG&E crews also assisted with information and expertise. 

Though there was allegedly a large amount of explosive material and dangerous chemicals used to manufacture illegal drugs found in the home, authorities have said there is no threat to others.