Contra Costa County, California – According to fire officials, since the beginning of the year seven suspects have been arrested in eight separate arson cases in the East Bay.
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District announced the arrests Wednesday, saying its investigators worked with law enforcement partners in Antioch, Concord, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek to make the arrests.
“Quick work of our investigators in close coordination with law enforcement partners resulted in the identification of seven arsonists threatening our communities in January and February,” said Con Fire Captain Ryan Graham in a prepared statement.
Among the arsons was one on Feb. 5 in a 45-unit apartment complex in Walnut Creek, where the investigation determined the fire had been intentionally set by a resident after an argument with his wife. Con Fire said surveillance video led to the identification of Randall Griffey-Shay, 32, of Walnut Creek as the suspect. He was arrest that same day and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility for arson to an inhabited structure.
Another fire at a commercial complex under construction on the 1900 block of N. California Blvd. led to the arrest of Pittsburg resident Tristan Miano, 30, on Jan. 16. Investigators determined Miano had set three separate fires on a concrete subfloor at the construction site, Con Fire said.
The next day, firefighters battling a fire at a commercial structure on Memorial Way in Pittsburg saw a person attempting to exit the structure through a hole in the roof. Investigators questioned the suspect who admitted having intentionally set the fire before attempting to flee. He was identified as Mandell Jeter, 24, a transient and was arrested for arson and resisting arrest.
One of those arrested last week – Jason Myers, 40, of Antioch – was suspected of setting a fire at Diablo Creek Golf Course that destroyed an RV, a box truck, three golf carts, and extensively damaged a maintenance garage with adjoining office. Myers, a former employee at the golf course, was interviewed at the time but denied being involved and there was not enough evidence to arrest him at the time, Con Fire said.
Following the discovery of new evidence, including surveillance footage, Myers was arrested and booked at the Concord Police Department.
Several other arsons involved persons setting fires to trash or debris, Con Fire said.
Con Fire urged residents to alert them of arsons or tips by calling the Arson Tip line at 1-866-50-ARSON.