NEWARK (KPIX 5) – Authorities are asking for the public’s help finding a woman who is a person of interest connected to an attempted arson incident that targeted an East Bay school.
Police said the person of interest who appeared to try to set a preschool on fire in Union City last November might be connected to the person who lit a fire at another preschool in Newark last month.
The November incident was caught on surveillance video.
The woman didn’t bother trying to conceal her identity in the images caught on camera as she is seen trying to light a Molotov cocktail.
“She was not successful in starting that fire,” said Newark Police Capt. Jonathan Arguello.
The woman then walks to the front of the Safari Kid preschool/daycare center in Union City and uses the champagne bottle turned Molotov cocktail into a battering ram, smashing the glass door.
“The footage is pretty discernible,” said Arguello.
Police are not calling her a suspect at this point; they say she is a person of interest.
Now investigators are turning to the public to track down the woman after someone successfully started a fire at the Safari Kid preschool in Newark in late May.
Police say there are distinct similarities between the May fire and the attempted arson in November that was caught on camera.
Not only did they target two separate locations of the same preschools, the incidents both happened on or around holiday weekends.
“So we’re hoping folks take a look and let us know if they recognize the female in the video,” said Arguello.
Newark police released photos of the woman taken from the surveillance video on Facebook last week. The post has since been shared 120 times.
Authorities hope turning up the heat on the woman motivates her to identify herself to police before someone else does.
“Get a hold of investigators and give your side of the story,” said Arguello.