Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Public's help sought in identifying person responsible for more than 30 small fires in Gulfport

GULFPORT — A series of more than 30 small fires that have started throughout Gulfport over the last five years were intentionally set by the same person, police said Wednesday.

Now, authorities are asking the public to help them identify the person responsible for setting the fires, which have caused thousands of dollars in damage.

A total of 31 fires have been linked to the arsonist, police said, including 10 that have been set this year. Many have been set in alleyways, destroying trees, brush and refuse.

"Most of it is just small criminal mischief-type stuff to brush, palm trees, fences and things like that," said Gulfport police Sgt. Thomas Woodman.

Thus far, no one has been injured in any of the fires, police said. And most have not caused significant destruction to property.

But, Woodman said, a blaze that destroyed a telephone pole on Nov. 26 caused an estimated $20,000 in damage.

Police declined to say exactly where each of the fires have been set, citing the ongoing investigation. The pattern investigators identified shows them occurring in the same general area, Woodman said. Investigators also linked each blaze by identifying similar characteristics such as the time of day each happened and the manner in which each was set.

On Wednesday, Pinellas County Crime Stoppers issued a plea for tips to identify the arsonist.

>> Fast Facts

How to help

Anyone with information can call 1-800-873-8477 or submit a tip online at crimestoppersofpinellas.org. Information can be submitted anonymously.

Tipsters are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.

Public's help sought in identifying person responsible for more than 30 small fires in Gulfport 12/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate Obamacare effort dies; Rubio in favor of repeal, Nelson against

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican effort to Obamacare failed early Friday, with John McCain providing a decisive vote.

    The Senate vote
  2. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law

    National

    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  3. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot

    News

    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  4. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  5. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda