OAKLAND, Calif. (Lisa Fernandez/KTVU) - Federal agents are offering a $110,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for three East Bay fires in the past year, and they released a photo and video of the prime suspect of a man seen at one of the blazes in May.
The man's photo was first released in June, but the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives video surveillance of him for the first time on Friday, the same day that a 4-alarm blaze ripped through a construction site Friday in the Uptown district. The photo shows a man with what looks like to be a beard riding a bicycle. He is wearing black pants and shoes, and a blue hoodie or hooded jacket.
ATF spokeswoman Alexandria Corneiro told KTVU that the suspect was only seen at the May 13 fire on San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville near Oakland, which was the second blaze to rip through the same project being developed by Rick Holliday. That same project was also torched on July 6, 2016, but there is no evidence that same man was there, Corneiro said.
"We look at each case independently," she said. "We don't want to make assumptions."
The ATF also wants information on a condo complex under construction that resulted in a five-alarm fire in Oakland near Lake Merritt on Lester and Hanover avenues fire on Oct. 31, 2016, as well as Friday's at 2302 Valdez Street, which severely damaged the Alta Waverly, a mixed-use project that would have opened in February with retail and about 200 new units of housing.
As for the most recent fire, the ATF has yet to deem it suspicious because parts of the property were still smoldering on Monday and no one has gone inside the building at this point. At least $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for that fire.
REWARD: Combined total of $110,000 for info leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for 3 fires in San Francisco bay area. pic.twitter.com/aFtsNrOob2— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) July 8, 2017
For more surveillance videos of the suspect, check the KTVU YouTube page.