Serial Arson Suspect Arrested
For Immediate Release:
Date: May 1, 2015
Prepared By/Contact Person: Sgt. Manny Boulos
“Serial Arson Suspect Arrested”
Over the past few months, the City of Coalinga has experienced a sharp increase in arson crimes in various alley areas of the City, with damage being done to garbage cans, garbage dumpsters and trees.
On April 30, 2015, at approximately 11:53 pm, Coalinga Police Communications began receiving reports of fires set to dumpsters in the 100 block alley of East Elm Avenue, 600 block alley of East Polk Avenue, 100 block alley of East Forest Avenue and the 100 block alley of East Glenn Avenue.
A major break was made in the arson investigations on May 1, 2015, when surveillance video was turned over to investigators showing the arson being carried out in the 100 block alley of East Elm Avenue the night before. Surveillance video was also obtained from a previous arson case in the same area which occurred days earlier.
The surveillance video led to the arrest of 27 year old Coalinga transient Michael Anthony Stewart, who was identified by police in the surveillance video. Stewart had been a person of interest in the prior arson cases.
Through investigative interviews, Stewart was linked to a majority of the prior arson cases being investigated by the Coalinga Police Department.
Stewart was processed at the Coalinga Police Department and will be booked into the Fresno County main jail on eight felony counts of arson.
Anyone with information related to the arson investigations is being asked to contact Coalinga Police Detective Andrew Diaz at (559) 935-1525.
“All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law”