Officials investigating multiple arson cases in Hillsborough County

Neighbors are worried about an alleged serial arsonist along Bryan Road.
Neighbors are worried about an alleged serial arsonist along Bryan Road.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Deidra Russell still can’t believe how close a fire came to her home. She doesn’t understand why someone would set a fire on purpose.

“I saw them in the trailer next to ours,” she told WFLA. “Why would someone do this? They’re going to kill us.”

Deidra is worried about a serial arsonist in her Hillsborough neighborhood on Bryan Road, just off MLK Boulevard.

“It looks like these are kids doing this, teenagers. They also painted, “Black Lives Matter” and spray painted Trump graffiti on the trailer next to the one they lit on fire,” said Deidra. “Seriously, they are going to kill someone.”

Deidra and her husband saw the suspects three nights in a row, hiding out in the mobile home next to theirs. On the third night, they saw the home next to theirs on fire and called 911. “We saw glowing orange in the windows. Then, they ran past the back door to our home. I called 911 and waited for firefighters.”

This isn’t the only fire that has detectives baffled. Multiple agencies are now investigating a number of arson cases. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Plant City Police Department, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the State Fire Marshall’s Office are requesting the public’s assistance to help identify the suspects responsible for the arsons that occurred at the below locations.

The investigations began on November 13, 2016.  Detectives have developed a possible suspect vehicle. It is described as an older Toyota or Nissan with shiny rims and a rear spoiler with a loud exhaust.

This is a list of the arson locations:

  • 7903 Tidewater Trail – (HCSO) Occurred 11/13/2016 (Vacant – Clair Mel City area)
  • 10830 Bryan Road – (HCSO) Occurred 11/14/2016 (Vacant – Casa Verde Mobil Home Park)
  • 10708 Bryan Road – (HCSO) Occurred 11/14/2016 (Vacant – Casa Verde Mobil Home Park)
  • 9428 Polak Drive – (HCSO) Occurred 11/17/2016 (Vacant – Paradise Village Mobile Home Park
  • 1114 Johnson Road (PCPD) – Occurred 11/29/2016   (Occupied, but no one home at the time of the fire)
  • 124 Palmetto Terrace – (HCSO) Occurred 12/01/2016 (Vacant – Casa Verde Mobil Home Park)
  • 9405 Tiffany Terrace – (HCSO) Occurred 12/04/2016  (Vacant – Paradise Village Mobile Home Park)

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspects involved in this case.

Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application.

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