St. Pete police need help solving arson spree

- A string of arsons remains unsolved and investigators are desperate to make an arrest before anyone is hurt.

St. Pete Police reached out to the public Wednesday, asking for tips and help circulating video that shows the likely serial arsonist in one of the first reported suspicious fires.

The fires began in January and about a dozen separate fires may be connected to the same suspect. Police say most were lit in dumpsters, but several fires spread to cars or fences, causing thousands in damages, according to neighbors.

Investigators say the fires have been contained to the Crescent Lake neighborhood, breaking out south of 21st Avenue North and east of Dr. MLK Jr. Street North.

Police want neighbors to pay close attention to a distinct aspect of the surveillance video. It shows a man appearing to light a fire in a gas tank and then walk away with a long skateboard in his hand. Police say the skateboard has square edges and could possibly be homemade.

Neighbors say seeing the flames just feet from their homes is frightening.

"We're all very concerned, we're all keeping our eyes peeled as much as we can. I often wake up in the middle of the night and I'll just come outside just to look around see if I can hear anything, see any unusual activity," said Laura Ryan.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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