Arson suspect arrested after dog alerts homeowner - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Arson suspect arrested after dog alerts homeowner

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NORMAL HEIGHTS (CBS 8) - An arson suspect is behind bars Monday, thanks in part to a barking dog. Officers were called to the intersection of Cromwell and Hawley in Normal Heights after a witness was woken up by the dog.

"I see the flames because it's kind of dark and I noticed a guy who is down under, and then I get out," homeowner, Jean-Louis Coquereau said.

Coquereau and his family woke up around 2 a.m. Monday. He confronted the suspected arsonist, who set fire to dry brush in between two garages in their backyard on the 5100 block of North Mountain View Drive.

Between the loud barking and the commotion, the suspect took off on a scooter as they called 911.

"I wanted to make sure he was not going to escape in the canyon," Coquereau said. 

The suspect hid in some bushes about a block away at Cromwell Place, which turned out to be a dead end. But after an extensive search with a police helicopter, the man was tackled and handcuffed.

Officers found him carrying a flashlight, pepper spray, lighter, rags, magazines and a blow torch.

Two weeks ago, someone torched two cars and destroyed other property in City Heights. Police are investigating if this is the same person responsible for those crimes.

"We'll also be looking at if the suspect is connected to other fires in recent weeks near 4200 block of Chamoune area," San Diego Police Lt. Paul Connelly said.

As for Scout, a foster dog the family has had for eight months, the Coquereaus plan on adopting him and giving him some special treats.

"He likes those big Costco bones and peanut butter," Coquereau said.

The suspect's identity has not been released but he will most likely be facing arson charges.

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