A man who allegedly started four small fires near downtown Palo Alto late last week has been arrested, police said today.
The suspected arsonist, a 23-year-old Palo Alto resident, is accused of starting the fires that spanned roughly between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Friday, police said.
The man was arrested Saturday around 9 p.m. near the 600 block of Urban Lane, where an officer on routine patrol saw he resembled the person seen on surveillance footage near one of the four fires, according to police. He was arrested without incident.
The first blaze was reported at about 2 a.m. at the Caltrain parking lot in the 600 block of Urban Lane, where police and firefighters found an empty vehicle on fire, police said.
Police dispatch responded to a second fire in the 100 block of Palo Alto Avenue, where responding crews found flames in a dumpster, police said.
The last two fires happened around 5:30 a.m. Officers and firefighters were sent to the 500 block of High Street, where they found a small pile of smoldering ash in a dumpster area at a parking garge, police said. While there, they were informed of a small brush fire nearby south of the Homer Avenue tunnel, police said.
No injuries were reported in each fire that were all quickly extinguished, according to police. (See a map displaying where the fires happened here.)
Investigators secured surveillance footage that showed a man walking in the area minutes before the Palo Alto Avenue fire began and considered him a person of interest, police said.
The 23-year-old man has been booked into Santa Clara County jail, according to police.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.