Surveillance images of arson suspect
Surveillance images of the suspect in the Little Italy arson. Courtesy San Diego County Crimestoppers

Authorities reached out to the public Tuesday for help in identifying an arsonist who set a predawn weekend fire that caused an estimated $32,000 worth of property damage in Little Italy.

The man, who was shirtless and appeared to be in his mid-20s to early 30s, set a commercial garbage bin ablaze next to Mona Lisa Italian Foods in the 2000 block of India Street at about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, according to the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team.

The flames spread to a nearby delivery van and the building housing the restaurant before firefighters were able to bring them under control.

Surveillance cameras captured images of the perpetrator, described as a stocky, balding and unshaven man with a large vertical tattoo along the right side of his ribcage. At the time of the fire, he was wearing tight-fitting jeans and dark-colored loafers.

Anyone who might be able to help investigators track down the arsonist was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.