Con Fire investigators make two arson arrests in 48 hours

Con Fire investigators make two arson arrests in 48 hours

Con Fire investigators make two arson arrests in 48 hours
A March 22 grass fire burned along Willow Pass Road in Bay Point. (Photo courtesy Con Fire)

CONCORD, CALIF., Mar. 23, 2022 – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) investigators made arrests within 48 hours in two separate cases this week. The intentionally set fires occured in Antioch and Bay Point.

On March 22, Con Fire investigators arrested Emanuel Serrano, 25, a transient. They apprehended him in the vicinity of two vegetation fires burning along Highway Four near Evora and Willow Pass Roads in Bay Point. The two separate fires originated along the walking trail next to westbound Highway 4.

As crews arrived, a witness pointed out a subject who they had observed starting the fires. Investigators checked the area and observed Serrano running through a nearby field. They searched the area on foot and from above with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV helped locate the suspect hiding in tall vegetation on a nearby hill where he was taken into custody.

Witnesses positively identified Serrano as the individual seen starting the fires. Investigators then conducted an “origin and cause” investigation. This did not reveal ignition sources other than human activity in the area of the fires. Next, officers transported Serrano to and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. They charged him with two counts of Arson of a Structure or Forest Land (PC § 451(c)).

Antioch Fire

On March 21, a Con Fire investigator responded to an exterior fire burning in brush in Antioch. The blaze occurred along the soundwall near Larkspur Drive and Hillcrest Avenue. Nearby, Jason Mcgee, 27, a transient living in Antioch, who witnesses had seen in the area of the fire, was identified as a suspect.

During questioning, McGee admitted to lighting this fire. A witness in the area further identified the suspect. The witness saw McGee lighting another fire the previous Friday. Officers  subsequently arrested McGee for both fires and transported him to the Martinez Detention Facility for booking on two charges of Arson of a Structure or Forest Land (PC § 451(c)).

Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight the crime of arson by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident. Residents can leave a recorded message on the tip line about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish.

You can leave anonymous tips, and they treat all tips confidentially. But investigators sometimes need additional information, so they encourage leaving contact information.