Boy, 13, suspected of sparking 4 arson fires in San Rafael

SAN RAFAEL (BCN) — San Rafael police arrested a 13-year-old San Rafael boy on suspicion of lighting four fires in eastern San Rafael on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Witnesses at the second and third fires that occurred Wednesday told police officers that a juvenile on a bicycle was leaving the area at the time the fires occurred. He was arrested after returning to the scene of the fourth fire Wednesday afternoon, police Cpl. Justin Graham said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of felony arson and was booked into Marin County juvenile hall.

The first brush fire occurred around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday in steep terrain in an open space area near Manderly Road, Main Drive and West Castlewood Drive. The fire was contained to less than 10 acres and was completely extinguished within a few hours, Graham said.

No structures were damaged, but the fire caused heavy smoke in the Knight Drive neighborhood, he said.

A brush fire around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday in the area of 75 Inverness Drive near Tuesday’s fire also didn’t cause any damage to structures. Witnesses first reported a juvenile on a bicycle leaving the scene, Graham said.

San Rafael police and firefighters then responded around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday to a fire behind San Pedro Elementary School at 498 Point San Pedro Road. No structures were damaged and witnesses saw a juvenile on a bike riding away from the school shortly before the fire started, Graham said.

About an hour later, firefighters saw another small fire smoldering in dry brush across from 203 Bayview Drive, and firefighters saw a suspect who matched the description of the suspect seen at the two previous fires, Graham said.

Firefighters detained the teen until police arrived and took him into custody. The arson investigation connected the teen to all four fires, Graham said.

San Rafael police are asking any witnesses to the fire to contact them at (415) 485-3000 or at if they wish to remain anonymous.

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