Santa Cruz County Arson Suspect Seen on Surveillance Video

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office released surveillance images of a man suspected of setting a fire on Monday that destroyed a car and damaged a second vehicle at an auto repair shop near Capitola.

At 6:10 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to a report of a vehicle fire at Pierce European and Japanese Auto Service at 7000 Soquel Ave. in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, Deputy Ryan Kennedy said.

The fire, which was determined to be arson, destroyed a 2013 Audi and damaged a limousine parked next to it in the rear of the repair shop, according to Kennedy.

The man suspected of lighting the fire was seen on surveillance video outside the repair business and inside its office just before the fire, Kennedy said.

"He was walking and talking to people, with no real agenda," Kennedy said.

He then set a fire that destroyed the Audi and spread to the limousine, both parked in the back of the shop where there were no surveillance cameras, Kennedy said.

"We don't know why he would set these vehicles on fire," Kennedy said. "There is no motive."

The sheriff's office's arson investigators are still looking into how the man may have started the fire, Kennedy said.

The suspect is described as 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, heavy set, bald with minor facial hair growth and wearing a red shirt, black Dickies brand shorts and black sneakers, Kennedy said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 831-471-1121, Kennedy said.

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