East Bay Firebug Torches Car 15

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 9:24 AM PDT
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East Bay Firebug Torches Car 15

Damian Trujillo

Investigators say this is the latest work of an arsonist in the East Bay.

A firebug struck again overnight in the East Bay, torching the 15th car in less than a week within a three-mile radius.

The latest vehicle to fall prey to a firebug's flame was the only way a the El Sobrante family of six had to get around.

The car's owner, Julia Castellon, told NBC Bay Area that she woke up to the sound of her car beeping at around 5 a.m. When she looked out the window, she saw the Toyota Corolla engulfed in flames. Castellon said she didn't tell her kids because she was afraid they would be too traumatized over the incident.

Shortly after the fire was reported, sheriff's deputies spotted a suspicious person within a half-mile of the scene, but they lost him.

The suspicious person was described as a Latino man about 25 years old, wearing a black hoodie, dark shorts and possibly long white shorts up to his knees, sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Malone said.

A witness at last week's arsons described a man in a black hoodie running the scene.

Investigators say this morning's incident is related to the 14 other vehicle fires over the last six days in West Contra Costa County. They say it fits the pattern of the other fires. The arsonist broke into cars and used material inside to get the fire going, investigators said.

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