Investigators released surveillance video Tuesday of a suspect believed to have started a fire at a Little Italy deli and offered a reward to anyone with tips that lead to an arrest in the case.
San Diego police believe the man in the video started a fire in a recycling dumpster at about 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, which then spread to the Mona Lisa Italian Foods deli on India Street.
In the video released Tuesday, a man can be seen approaching a dumpster filled with cardboard. He appears to strike a lighter and set a piece of cardboard on fire before repeating the action on another piece of cardboard.
The man stumbles away from as flames overtake the dumpster, which was positioned against one wall of the deli. Soon, the fire had spread to the building and a nearby delivery van, SDPD said.
While San Diego Fire-Rescue crews were able to knock the fire down in about 15 minutes, the blaze caused about $32,000 in damage, San Diego County Crime Stoppers said.
The suspect was described as a man in his mid-20s to early-30s with a stocky build who appears to be balding. At the time of the fire, he was unshaven, was wearing skinny jeans and loafers; he did not have a shirt. On the right side of his rib cage, the suspect had a large vertical tattoo, Crime Stoppers said in a release.
Anyone with information on the suspect was urged to call the Metro Arson Strike Team at (619) 236-6815 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Tips that lead to an arrest may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.