Reward Will Hopefully Smoke Out Firebug

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    (AP Photo/Jim McKnight)

    Police in Escondido have linked a series of nine suspicious fires in a little over a year -- and now $4,000 in reward money is being offered in connection to the arson spree.

    The fires started last August, and the latest was set this month, according to investigators. Front-yard cypress trees were lit on fire in many of the cases, and some of those blazes spread to nearby vehicles and structures, police said.

    Anybody with information about the case is being urged to call Detective Marco Sevilla at 760-839-4794 or Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477. CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information in this case, and an additional reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest. The Arson Reward Fund is also offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

    While no injuries have been reported so far, police and fire officials are concerned that since many of the fires were set near occupied homes, it's very possible somebody could be injured or killed in a similar future incident.

    Most of the fires were sparked between 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., police said, and many of the homes were in the area bordered by a roughly 10-square block area between Washington and Lincoln Avenues, and Fig and Rose streets.

    Police said Tuesday that there was no information about the suspect available at the present time.