Arsonist strikes again in Contra Costa Co.

November 8, 2009 6:33:22 PM PST
For the second time in a week, someone has set cars on fire in the East Bay. An arsonist struck again overnight Saturday, torching four more cars. That makes fifteen automobile fires in one week, all in El Sobrante and Richmond.

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One arson victim's neighbor told ABC7 that around 11:00 p.m., they heard a horn going off and the sound of glass breaking before they realized a truck parked outside on Heavenly Ridge Lane was on fire.

Another neighbor, about a half-mile away, heard a small explosion and looked out her window to find her '96 Toyota Camry on fire. Shortly after that, a car just a quarter-mile away also went up in flames.

Three cars, all in the El Sobrante neighborhood were burned all within one hour's time.

"The neighbor up the street that came down said that he thought he saw the door open. So, he thinks that maybe someone threw something," said Antoinette Holmes. "There were some kids up the street that saw someone running away. They said he had a black t-shirt, white tennis shoes and he was holding something, and they thought they saw him jump in a car."

All three cars that burned Saturday night are within a three-mile radius of eleven other cars that were torched last Wednesday. Police say descriptions of a suspect on both days are similar but vague: A tall, slim male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

A total of 14 vehicles have been burned, ten in Richmond and four in El Sobrante. Contra Costa County and Richmond police and fire officials are all comparing notes on their investigations. So far, they have not been able to put together a collective picture, but Richmond police say it appears likely that there is only one suspect who is familiar with the area where the crimes have been committed.

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