Monday, September 21, 2009

Police blame at least 3 fires on unknown man

SAGINAW (WJRT) -- (09/18/09) -- Saginaw's latest arsonist doesn't target vacant homes, he targets garages with vehicles inside.
Michigan State Police, Saginaw police and nervous residents in a west-side Saginaw neighborhood believe a serial arsonist is on the loose.
Security video shows him trying to break into cars, but it's what he does after the break-in that has people worried.
"I was scared to death, and I'm still frightened at night," said Julie Watters.
Watters remembers what happened back on September 4 at her Bond Street home. "I was sleeping, and kept hearing noises coming from my garage area."
Her garage was badly damaged in a fire, and her teenaged son's Pontiac Bonneville was destroyed. Police believe the person who started the garage fire is the man caught on a private security video attempting to break into vehicles.
The video was taken from a home just down the street from that garage fire. Police are investigating other, similar crimes. "Right now, we think three, possibly one in Carrollton and two here in the city of Saginaw," Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. Jim Bush said.
Bush was referencing three garage fires and car break-ins.
Another home security video from another neighborhood shows the same series of events: A man is seen trying to break into vehicles, and shortly after, a garage goes up in flames.
"He is entering the garages, looking for items he can steal, and just before leaving, either setting fire to the garage or the vehicles in the garage," Bush said.
Investigators are going through neighborhoods, showing the suspect's picture. Resident Carlos Gonzalez thinks he has seen the person. "I've seen him somewhere before in the neighborhood because I used to walk my dog all around this area. I've seen his face before."
Police hope someone recognizes the face before the man strikes again, before something worse happens.
"Who would be crazy enough to set your garage on fire, would be crazy enough to set your house on fire?" Watters questioned.
If you recognize the person in the video, please call the Saginaw Police Department or the Michigan State Police.