PLEASANT HILL — A suspected pyromaniac is in police custody for allegedly setting fires at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. Eight separate fires were started but no injuries were reported.
The blazes happened in the early morning hours of October 17 and 18. They caused significant damage to several areas of the school. A fence surrounding a residential property bordering the school was damaged as well.
Pleasant Hill police and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District are jointly investigating these arsons. Police reviewed surveillance camera video recordings enabling them to identify the suspect.
Additional evidence was found on campus and in the neighborhood nearby, culminating in an arrest.
The suspect identified as Jason Allen, 24 of Pleasant Hill, was arrested on October 18. He remains in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility, not eligible for release on bail. Allen is presently charged with only two counts of arson.
However, this arson investigation remains open. Authorities have asked nearby residents with security cameras to report anything suspicious recorded on the days of the fires.
The school is situated at 2097 Oak Park Boulevard, but the suspect may have entered the campus from Vessing Road. Additional evidence and witnesses from that area are being sought by authorities.
Anyone with information can call the investigations bureau at the Pleasant Hill Police Department at 925-288-4630.