Vehicles torched in Chula Vista condo complex; Arson investigati - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Vehicles torched in Chula Vista condo complex; Arson investigation in process

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CHULA VISTA (Chula Vista Police Dept.) - Chula Vista Police have identified a potential vehicle arson series occurring in the Terra Nova area of Chula Vista, specifically in the 400 block of Sanibelle Circle and the 400 block of Belle Vista Drive.

The most recent fires occurred Thursday morning, 05/15/14, at about 3:00 am when Chula Vista Police received a 911 call of a car on fire in the complex parking lot of 400 Sanibelle Circle. The Fire Department responded and put out the fire and notified police officers that it appeared to be arson. Officers arrived to investigate and while on scene (about 4:00 am) they could hear the loud popping sound of another fully-engulfed vehicle burning a few hundred feet away to the east. That vehicle was parked on 400 Belle Vista Dr.

The victim vehicle on Sanibelle was a 2013 Mercedes C250. It was completely destroyed and the fire caused damage to an adjacent 2011 Ford Edge SUV. The victim vehicle on Belle Vista Drive was a 2009 Honda Civic. It too was a total loss, and that fire damaged a nearby 2011 Toyota Corolla.

Arson Investigators from both the Fire Department and Police Department were called to the scene. Both fires appeared to have been started in a similar manner.

Arson Investigators were already investigating several other vehicle fires in that same area:

The most recent, was a single-vehicle fire three days prior, on 5/12/14 at about 4:00 am. That vehicle was parked on Terra Nova Drive, a cross street to Belle Vista Drive. That vehicle was a 1992 Mazda MX3. The circumstances to that fire are similar in nature to the fires on Thursday.

On 3/23/14 at about 5:30 am police responded to six different vehicles that received burn damage. Two of those vehicles were parked on 400 Sanibelle Circle, and four others were parked on 400 Belle Vista Dr. Those vehicles, listed below, all had burn damage to the side mirrors and doors.

1. 2000 BMW 323i
2. 2002 Mercedes S500
3. 2003 Mercedes E320
4. 2006 Mercedes MC500
5. 2013 Mercedes S500
6. 2014 Ford Focus

It appeared a suspect or suspects attempted to ignite the vehicles using a butane torch or other similar device.

Detectives are looking into whether vehicles are targeted randomly or if there is some relationship between the vehicles or their owners.

Chula Vista Police asks anyone with information related to these crimes to please contact CVPD Dispatch at (619) 691-5151 and ask for Property Crimes. Or to remain anonymous call (619) 422-TIPS. For additional information visit the CVPD Help Solve A Crime website linked to

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