SJ neighbors return home, exhale after police remove explosive materials from suspect's house

Dustin Dorsey Image
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Neighbors exhale after police remove explosive materials from SJ home
San Jose neighbors are relieved after their street was shut down when suspect Peter Karasev was arrested and explosive materials were found.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There was finally a sense of peace and quiet for neighbors on Potomac Court in San Jose Monday following four scary days.

They are settling back into their lives after the street was shut down when huge amounts of explosive materials were found in a home.

"For four days it was just wondering what was going on, it was like living in a warzone," Potomac Ct. Resident Steve Scanlon said. "Feeling the terrorism, but not having the bomb go off, it was the same psychological terror."

36-year-old Peter Karasev is the suspected cause of the terror.

He was arrested last week. Investigators claim he's responsible for two separate explosions at power transformers just a few miles away from his South San Jose home.

RELATED: San Jose man arrested after large amounts of explosive material found inside home, police say

Zillow shows the home was sold in March 2021, Karasev told police that he lived in the home with three children and his wife.

According to court documents, Karasev's wife told investigators that he liked chaos and made comments about attacking infrastructure.

Neighbors described him as an odd-man-out on the community-driven street.

"I know he kind of kept quiet to himself," Potomac Ct. Resident Juanita Mota said. "So, I guess we have to figure out who they are, right? You have to meet your neighbors."

The investigation detailed how police were ultimately able to link Karasev to two separate PG&E transformer explosions.

Investigators were able to use cellphone geo-fencing technology to follow Karasev's path from an explosion on December 8 at Oakridge Mall, and a separate incident on Snell Avenue on January 5, back to his home.

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Karasev's wife told police that her husband texted her the morning of the Snell explosion saying he was going out to dispose of an unsafe box.

She said her husband liked chemistry and rockets, and would often do experiments.

Neighbors said he was often up late doing work.

"He was always working on strange projects in his driveway, pounding or sawing, cutting up something," Scanlon said. "You never knew what."

The house has now been condemned after police cleared the home of materials to make destructive devices and the inactive meth lab in the garage.

For now, the neighborhood can breathe a sigh of relief.

"I think we all feel grateful that it was discovered because who knows what the outcome would've been if it wouldn't have been done, right?" Mota said.

SJPD says they will have an update on the investigation later this week.

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