Northwest NEWS

October 26, 1998

Front Page

Elusive arsonist strikes Fall City area

   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor

  
   Police say they think that an arsonist who torched a stolen car last Friday morning just west of Fall City may be the same person who set fire to a house, a storage shed and another stolen car on Fish Hatchery Road the day before.
  
   Early on Friday, police found a burned car on the Redmond-Fall City Road near 292nd Ave. SE, said King County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Urquhart.
  
   "The car was stolen from the Bellevue area overnight," Urquhart said. "The suspect may either be the same guy or a copycat."
  
   Police said that after setting the fires on Fish Hatchery Road on Thursday, the arsonist stole a white Mercedes-Benz which he left at a Preston home he had broken into. The suspect then broke into another nearby home and stole a Chevrolet Blazer.
  
   That afternoon the car was spotted in Issaquah by someone who recognized the vanity plate and called police.
  
   Issaquah police chased the suspect toward Eastgate, but road construction forced him into a driveway where he hit the side of a house.
  
   He then escaped on foot. Police last saw the suspect at about 1:50 p.m. but continued the search until about 5 p.m.
  
   Urquhart described the suspect as a white male, age about 18-20, 5'8" to 5'10", slim build with a dark brown mohawk or hair shaved on both sides.
  
   He said a neighbor in the area where the suspect was last seen noticed a similar person running with no shirt who had a circular tattoo over his right shoulder blade.
  
   "Because of that we added the tattoo to the description," he said.
  
   The car that was stolen and burned Friday morning was taken several miles away from where the suspect was last seen by police, Urquhart said.
  
   The car, a 1989 Chevrolet Corsica, was stolen from an apartment complex.
  
   Two other cars that were torched by an arsonist in North Bend early Friday morning were not connected to the Fall City arsons, Urquhart said.
  
   "The arsons in North Bend don't fit the profile of the others," he said. "We think it is pure coincidence."
  
   No one was injured in any of the incidents, but the house on Fish Hatchery Road that was burned was a total loss.