SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Two San Mateo men have been arrested in connection with suspicious garbage bin fires set early Thursday in downtown San Mateo, authorities said Friday.
Carlos Cristerna, 21, and Wilbert Ramirez, 20, were taken into custody on suspicion of arson and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to San Mateo Police Officer Michael Haobsh.READ MORE: Fawn Fire Update: 'I See My Life Gone'; Thousands Forced To Evacuate; Arson Suspected As Blaze Burns Homes
The pair is suspected of setting garbage bins ablaze in an alley next to a building in the first block of Second Avenue, Haobsh said.
The fires were reported about 3:25 a.m. in the alley, which is near South El Camino Real.
The building was damaged when fire melted a window and set off the building’s sprinkler system, Haobsh said.
After the fires were extinguished, officers increased patrols downtown, canvassed the area and shared images of the suspects on social media. Within a few hours, tips began pouring in, police said.READ MORE: UPDATE: Early Morning Crash Shuts Down Lanes On San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
A combination of surveillance video, quick action by investigators and the numerous anonymous tips led police to the suspects, Haobsh said.
According to police, Cristerna was wearing the exact same clothing seen in surveillance video when he was arrested at home about 8:15 p.m. Thursday. Evidence of the crime was found inside his home, Haobsh said.
Additional information led officers to the home of Wilbert Ramirez and he was arrested at 12:19 a.m. Friday. Evidence was also found at his home, according to police.
Police didn’t release a motive behind the fires. The suspects were booked at San Mateo County Jail.MORE NEWS: 'Highway Slingshot Shooter' Fires Ball Bearings at Windows Along San Jose's Guadalupe Freeway
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