Residents invited to meeting on vehicle arson fires

November 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Officials plan to hold a community meeting Wednesday to talk to West Contra Costa County residents about the recent spate of vehicle arson fires in the area, according to County Supervisor John Gioia's office.

Gioia, the El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council's crime prevention subcommittee, and representatives from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's office will be at the meeting to talk to residents about the arson fires.

So far, fire investigators believe that the same person or group is responsible for torching 20 vehicles in Richmond, El Sobrante and San Pablo in the past three weeks, officials said.

Contra Costa County Fire Investigator Vic Massenkoff said Monday that investigators are still working to determine whether several additional vehicle arson fires in the area may also be connected, but declined to discuss the specifics of the investigations.

At a news conference in San Pablo last week, Massenkoff said investigators believe the first fire in the series was set Oct. 31 on Ridge View Circle in El Sobrante, where one vehicle was burned.

Six more fires that burned 12 vehicles were set in Richmond and El Sobrante in the early morning hours of Nov. 4. And three more fires were set the night of Nov. 7, burning three vehicles. The eleventh fire was set in the early morning of Nov. 10 in El Sobrante and then on Nov. 16, three more vehicles were burned in two separate fires in San Pablo, according to the fire district.

The community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the El Sobrante Library's reading room at 4191 Appian Way in El Sobrante.


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