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Reward offered for tips in University Heights arson cases targeting church

SAN DIEGO – City Councilmember Todd Gloria today urged University Heights neighbors to help solve a recent string of arsons at a local church.

Deliberately-set fires occurred at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall on Dec. 20 and Dec. 30, 2011, and another arson attempt was made at 12:30 a.m. today, Jan. 3.

“San Diegans must stand together against these senseless acts,” said Gloria, who represents the area. “I encourage anyone with information about the crimes to tell the authorities. Crime doesn’t pay, but helping catch the responsible criminals may yield a reward.”

A reward of up to $10,000 is offered from Crime Stoppers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tips that lead to arrests in the case. Crime Stoppers hosts both the Hate Crime Reward Fund and the Arson Reward Fund that may be used to increase the reward. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and an additional reward of up to $9,000 is offered on conviction.

The church is located on Adams Avenue near Florida Street. The Metro Arson Strike Team is investigating. Anyone with information related to these crimes is asked to call arson investigators at (619) 236-6815, or to remain anonymous, calls can be made to San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or send an anonymous text or web tip at sdcrimestoppers.com.