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Fifth Arson Reported in Causeway Isles Neighborhood

Police have no suspects and are meeting with residents of Causeway Isles Wednesday afternoon to address the situation. Detectives believe all the arson cases could be related.

For the fifth time since October 2011, there has been an arson attempt at a residence in the Causeway Isles Neighborhood.

According to St. Petersburg Police, the latest incident occurred at 7 p.m., on New Year's Day, at 181 79th St. S.

Officers were called to that address by a neighbor, who saw evidence of a break-in at the rear door to the house.

Upon checking the house, police said they found entry had been forced and that once inside the suspect(s) had attempted to set the house on fire.

Damage was confined to the interior of the house, and police said the fire apparently went out before it could do significant damage. Damage was was confined to the rugs, drapes and interior walls.

According to police, the home was recently sold to Christopher Jones of Clearwater. Jones told police that he had last been to the house on Dec. 30, 2012, around 3 p.m.

Everything appeared fine at that time; however he did note that on one visit to the house on Dec. 11, 2012, he found evidence of another break-in, but since nothing was found missing or damaged, he did not call police.

According to the police report, this is the second attempted arson at this address. On Sept. 4, 2012, a relative of the previous owner discovered that someone had attempted to set fire to the home, near an outdoor air-conditioning unit.  

Evidence of arson was found, but it appeared the fire went out, and the damage to the home was relatively minor, police said.

No suspects have been identified in these cases and arson investigators plan to canvass the neighborhood Wednesday and speak with neighbors.

Detectives believe previous arson cases could be related. 

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