Gwinnett Fire officials seek suspect in vehicle arson fire at luxury apartments

Vehicle fire in Gwinnett Aug. 26 at luxury apartments ruled arson. Photo courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Rescue

(Lawrenceville, Ga., August 30, 2018) – A vehicle fire in the early morning hours of Aug. 26 at the Views at at Coolray Field Luxury Apartment Flats at 755 Braves Avenue in unincorporated Lawrenceville has been ruled arson and Gwinnett County Fire investigators are trying to identify the person they believe is responsible it. Just after 2:46 a.m. firefighters responded to the gated parking lot off Buford Drive and found a 2004 Buick LeSabre fully-involved with radiant heat from the flames also causing moderate cosmetic damage to four other vehicles parked close by. The sedan was a total loss due to the fire.

According to a press release from Gwinnett County Fire, video surveillance footage obtained from the apartment complex shows an unknown male attempting to open a secure gate, then jumping the fence to gain access to the parking lot in front of the building. That person is then seen trying to enter multiple vehicles and running away as fire erupts from the corner of the parking lot. The footage also shows the man inside the lobby and stairwell of the building prior to going outside and allegedly setting the fire. It isn’t known how he got inside the secure building.

Click or tap on the Vimeo link below for surveillance footage of the suspect and burning vehicle: The following is  a brief timeline of the condensed video footage:

  • 00:05 shows suspect in the main stairwell of the building.
  • 00:45 shows suspect loitering in the main lobby and exiting the front door.
  • 02:50 shows suspect trying to enter parking lot gate.
  • 03:30 shows shadow of the suspect at bottom of the screen as he jumps the fence to enter the parking lot.
  • 03:55 shows suspect on foot going from car to car checking to see if one is unlocked.
  • 05:14 shows smoke beginning to build (top left corner) as car starts to burn.
  • 06:08 shows suspect walking away from the burning vehicle and then running across the parking lot.
  • 07:11 show Gwinnett police arriving at the scene and the vehicle fully engulfed in flames.

“This is a bold act and the person responsible should be held accountable,” said Gwinnett Fire Captain Tommy Rutledge. “Once apprehended, the suspect will likely face a host of charges to include: arson, criminal trespass, burglary and entering auto.”

Arson is a serious felony crime and is punishable by imprisonment and associated fines.

Photos from video surveillance of the suspect courtesy of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Rescue.

Anyone with information about the fire or the person responsible is asked to contact the Gwinnett Fire Investigations Section at 678-518-4890 or the Georgia Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.  Georgia Arson Control, Inc. offers a reward of UP TO $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for arson.  Tips may be made anonymously.


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