East Palo Alto police have arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of starting a series of fires on April 10 along a fence bordering the RV Safe Parking lot on Bay Road, where people were sleeping in their vehicles.
Police said the man allegedly started four separate fires in the early morning hours while walking on a bike path behind the RV Safe Parking lot at 1798 Bay Road. The lot was established by the city in partnership with the nonprofit Project We Hope as a safe place for people living in their vehicles and trying to regain financial independence.
The Menlo Park Fire Protection District extinguished the fires, which damaged one RV and several parts of the fence, according to police.
Through a joint investigation, fire investigators and police identified the man as a suspect and linked him to four previous fires in East Palo Alto, which were also small in size and quickly extinguished.
On April 13, a patrol officer located the man on the bike path where he allegedly started the April 10 fires. He was arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail on charges of arson.
Editor's note: Palo Alto Online's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.