CONCORD (CBS SF) — The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has identified the Pittsburg man arrested early Saturday morning in connection with a series of recent vehicle fires.
James Bishop III, 36, was arrested around 1 a.m. Saturday in Benicia. He had allegedly set fire to a vehicle in a residential driveway when officers approached him.READ MORE: DEA Issues Safety Alert As San Francisco Fentanyl Seizures Soar
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He’s been charged with one count of arson to an inhabited structure, nine counts of arson to property and eight counts of using an accelerant to set a fire.
Investigators noticed an increase in the number of vehicle fires in April, noting that they shared some common characteristics including the use of an accelerant on the vehicles’ exteriors.READ MORE: Palo Alto Parking Garage Vandalized With Hate Graffiti For 2nd Time In 2 Weeks
Using security videos from homes and businesses near the scenes of the fires, they identified a Toyota RAV4 associated with the suspect. Bishop was driving a 1996 RAV4 at the time of his arrest, according to firefighters.
Investigators note that the number of vehicle fires in the area has dropped off to a more typical rate since Bishop’s arrest.
The case remains under investigation, and fire officials are asking anyone who lives near the scene of a recent car fire to come forward with information that may be of use to prosecutors – such as security camera footage that shows Bishop or the RAV4 he was driving.
Anyone with information can call the arson tip line at 1 (866) 50-ARSON.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Dramatic Video Of Injured Motorist Being Rescued From Fiery San Jose Freeway Crash
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