The suspect is captured in the surveillance footage setting fires on Robinson Elementary school grounds. Courtesy of MBPD
The Manhattan Beach Police Department is investigating two separate arson cases on school grounds.
On Monday morning, Manhattan BeachMiddle School principal John Jackson discovered that a break-in had occurred over Thanksgiving break in a counselor’s office. The window next to the door was broken, and through it the intruder had apparently gained entrance, Jackson said.
Nothing was stolen, he said, but it appeared that the intruder attempted to light the file cabinet on fire. School officials are currently investigating why the alarm system didn’t go off.
“We’ll double our efforts to keep watch but there’s not a whole lot of different ways to be any safer than we are now,” he said.
Shortly past midnight just two weeks prior on Sunday, Nov. 17, a man set approximately six fires on the campus of RobinsonElementary School, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect setting fire to a bulletin board outside a classroom, which burned for approximately five minutes. Though most of the fires burned for a short time, it appears the man was attempting to start a larger fire. In the video, he is seen sitting on a school bench, watching the fire burn. Once the fire burned out, the man left.
The MBPD released the surveillance footage last week, asking the public to help identify the male suspect. Police do not have reason to believe the two cases were related, MBPD Public Information Officer Stephanie Martin said.
Any information regarding this crime should be directed to Detective Shawn Thompson at (310) 802-5124. Surveillance video footage of the suspect is available for viewing and download at: www.citymb.info/RobinsonElementaryFire.