Police Make Arrest in San Jose Serial Arsonist Case

By NBC Bay Area staff
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 10:24 AM PDT
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A man suspected of a string of arsons that have terrorized a San Jose neighborhood has been arrested, police announced late Wednesday. George Kiriyama reports.

A man suspected of a string of arsons that have terrorized a San Jose neighborhood has been arrested, police announced late Wednesday. George Kiriyama reports.

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San Jose Serial Arsonist Leaves Elderly Couple Homeless

Investigators continue searching for clues in the 13 arsons that have terrorized a neighborhood just east of downtown San Jose. Donations to the La Vigna family can be made here. Damian Trujillo.

Serial Arsonist Puts SJ Residents on Alert

A new fire Monday morning near Alum Rock Park ignited fresh fears that a serial arsonist is still setting blazes across San Jose, with roughly a dozen reported in the last six days. George Kiriyama reports.
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A man suspected of a string of arsons that have terrorized a San Jose neighborhood has been arrested, police announced late Wednesday.

UPDATE: San Jose Police Name Suspect in Serial Arson Case

The serial arsonist is believed to be responsible for setting 13 fires in under a week. Police said they located and arrested an adult male suspect in connection with the arson fires at 8:10 p.m. Wednesday. The suspect will be booked into Santa Clara County Jail.

Police said they are not releasing the suspect's identity and the circumstances surrounding his arrest at this time as investigators are still conducting follow-up investigations and interviews.

Further details on the arrest are expected to be released by police Thursday morning.

Investigators said the arsonist started fires on people's porches by torching things like newspapers and furniture.

The rash of arsons ignited fears and put residents on alert.

MORE: San Jose Serial Arsonist Leaves Elderly Couple Homeless

Jose Lara was one San Jose-resident who remained vigilant, even driving around his neighborhood Monday night on the lookout for the suspect and any other suspicious activity.

The Vince and Sharon La Vignas, a 60s-something couple, lost their home of 45 years in one of the fires investigators connect to the arsonist.

A neighbor woke up the couple just before the roof collapsed.

"It's still very unsettling," Sharon La Vigna said. "We don't know where we're going to go."

The San Jose Firefighters Association on Saturday put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person, or persons, responsible for starting these fires.

MORE: SJFD Release Sketch of Serial Arson Suspect; $10,000 Reward

Investigators released a sketch of the suspect -- a "real skinny" man with distinctive large frame glasses -- based on witness descriptions and images taken from surveillance cameras.

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