Officials probe connection in car torchings

Investigators are trying to determine whether three new vehicle fires in western Contra Costa County are connected to a string of car torchings in the area.

Contra Costa fire department spokeswoman Emily Hopkins says 20 vehicles have now gone up in flames over the past two weeks in San Pablo, Richmond and El Sobrante. Authorities believe the other 17 fires are connected, and at least some of those are suspected to be the work of the same person.

The most recent car fires were in San Pablo. Hopkins says two cars were found burning around 9:30 p.m. Monday, and a third was reported about a mile away around 11:30 p.m.

Investigators have a vague description of a man wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants seen running from two of those fires.

 

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