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CFO Jimmy Patronis: We Need Your Help to Stop a Serial Arsonist

2/26/2019

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Contact: Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com  
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis: We Need Your Help to Stop a Serial Arsonist

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis along with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Umatilla Police Department are calling on area residents to help locate a suspected serial arsonist who is believed to be connected to multiple fires in the Umatilla area in Lake County.
 
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Arson is a dangerous crime that not only destroys property but can have deadly consequences. My arson team is working with Sheriff Grinnell’s teams on the ground to track down this suspect before they strike again. If you have any information, please contact us immediately, so we can bring this criminal to justice."
 
CFO Patronis’ arson detectives believe this suspect is involved in several incidents in the Umatilla area and are considering a possible connection between two structure fires that occurred at the Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Q and at Sunoco (793 South Central Avenue) along with multiple vehicle fires that occurring off 685 Saltsdale Road, 39521 East Cemetery Road and 1016 Pine Tree Drive. All fires occurred in the same region and within a 25-hour timespan.
 
As of Monday afternoon, two additional fires occurred at 37000 block of State Road 19 and 933 North Central Avenue. Detectives are treating every fire that occurs within the Umatilla area as suspicious in nature until determined otherwise through the investigative process.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis and his detectives encourage anyone who may have information surrounding these fires to contact the Arson Tip Hotline by calling 1-877-662-7766. Any individual that provides information leading to a successful prosecution may be eligible for a cash reward, and callers can choose to remain anonymous.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).