UI police investigate arson

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois police are seeking the public's help in solving an arson earlier this month.

According to a police report, Champaign firefighters were called to a Dumpster fire in the south parking lot of the Oak Street Library Facility, 809 S. Oak St., about 9 p.m. Feb. 7.

While the initial cause of the fire was listed as undetermined, a University of Illinois police detectives doing a follow-up investigation found a security video showing a person lighting the Dumpster on fire. The alleged arsonist can also be seen parking his vehicle outside the Sailfin Pet Shop, 720 S. Neil St., C.

Police described the alleged arsonist as a white man between 35 and 45 years old with a large build and thinning dark hair trimmed around the sides.

The man was wearing a gray zip-up hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and either black high top boots or shoes with light colored laces.

The security video may be seen at http://bit.ly/XqFY0Q

Persons with information may call UI police at 333-1216.

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wayward wrote on February 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Just curious, how much of a fire was there?  Noticed that the guy didn't seem to be carrying anything else (like a can of accelerant), and he also closed the top, which could have meant less wind but also less oxygen.  I wondered if he was serious about setting a fire or if he was just testing something to see what would happen.

rsp wrote on February 23, 2013 at 12:02 am

There are black work boots that are popular right now and that looks like what he's wearing. Some of them have steel toes in them. If there is footage of the car why not show it? Some people recognize cars and not people.

use er name wrote on February 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

Maybe there is more, but the video shows what appears to be everyday dumpster diving.Walks up, looks inside, pokes around, and wanders off.