Truck set on fire in San Pablo

November 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A truck was set on fire in San Pablo early Friday morning. These are the 23rd and 24th cars to burn over the last couple of weeks in Contra Costa County. Arson investigators are looking into whether these two are also linked to 17 others they have already connected.

A Ford truck is just the latest target in a string of apparent arson fires in West Contra Costa County, where two dozen cars have been damaged or destroyed in less than two months.

The most recent fires happened in San Pablo, but cars in Richmond and El Sobrante have also been hit.

"Right now it's too early to tell if they are connected. We don't have enough evidence to really connect everything to together. We don't really have any witnesses and no one's really coming forward," says Richard Carpenter, the Contra Costa fire marshal.

The Ford truck was sitting in an apartment building lot across from Doctor's Hospital. The green Honda next to it also sustained major damage.

The Honda owner told ABC7 she has no fire insurance.

"This is horrible. There's no security right in his area. When this happens once in a while, it's just ridiculous," says John Su, the victim's uncle.

Of the 24 cars torched since Halloween, the last five have been in San Pablo.

"We have investigators that are on it right now, we're working with all the local agencies that are affected by this. It's a great concern for us and the community. We need to stop this," says Ken Bays with the San Pablo Police Department.

"We're hoping that somebody steps forward and sees something, hears something, somebody talks to each other. People go out and they start comparing notes, and maybe they'll give us a call," says Carpenter.

In the meantime, owners are being advised to keep their windows and doors locked and remove valuables from cars parked outside.

Investigators say one thread among several of the arsons is the vehicles were left unlocked.


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