Santa Monica police and fire investigators are asking for the public’s help in locating the person or persons responsible for a series of fires set to parked vehicles earlier this month.
The incidents occurred in the late night and early morning hours on Wednesday, July 1st and Monday, July 6th.
Three parked vehicles — a 1989 Toyota van, a 2001 Suzuki Sidekick and a 1989 Volvo sedan — were set afire July 1st in the 1600 block of Stanford Street and 1500 block of Yale Street, police said. Two additional vehicles — a 2005 Mercedes station wagon and a 1990 Mercedes — were engulfed in flames July 6th in the 1700 block of Franklin Street, south of Colorado Avenue.
Three of the vehicles have sustained minimal damage and two received total damage, Santa Monica Fire Marshall Jim Glew said.
The fires appear to be incendiary in nature and Santa Monica fire investigators will determine if the cause is arson, he said.
The incidents have not targeted any specific type of vehicle and appear to be random, Glew said. He noted that it is unusual for several vehicle fires to occur in a short time span within close proximity to each other.
No suspects have been identified but Glew said the fires appear to have been set using consistent methods.
The Santa Monica Arson Task Force, comprised of specially trained fire and police personnel, is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the potential motive for the incidents.
Residents are encouraged to contact police if they see any suspicious activity. Anyone with additional information regarding these incidents can contact Detective Heric at (310) 458-8410, Sgt. Jay Trisler at (310) 458-8471, or the watch commander at (310) 458-8426.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip hotline at (800) 472-7766 (800) 47-ARSON.