Medford PD ready to catch serial arsonist

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Thu, July 24 2014 at 11:12 PM, Updated: Thu, July 24 2014 at 11:26 PM

Medford, Ore.--  Police and fire crews said they're ready to catch a suspected serial arsonist after 22 suspicious fires have burned since late June.

Thursday Officer Richard Renfro was out patrolling the streets of West Medford on more vigilant then ever.i

"The longer that this goes on the higher the risk that somebody is seriously going to get injured or killed," said Renfro.     

Officer Renfro said the whole thing is just frustrating. For example Wednesday night, two fires on the same street,  then two more just hours later blocks away.

"It's easy for suspects to be just one block away or one alley away and I could be chasing him all night and always be one step behind him."

And because it's fire, evidence is hard to find.

"Fires are a crazy thing they can start real small and give the suspect a head start. And he's got the advantage in knowing when he's going to go, where he's going to go, when he's going to start the fire and an exit strategy."

Police are heading to every fire call right now. Treating them all as an opportunity to catch the serial arsonist.

Renfro said it's starting to get in the way of responding to other calls. Sometimes delays of up to two hours.

"It's not a matter of what we know what we think or what we believe its a matter of what we can prove."

And prove he will. Officer Renfro said every street he patrols brings him and the department one step closer to finding a suspect.

He also said they appreciate every call they get even if it doesn't lead them to finding a suspect right away.

If you see anything suspicious call 911.

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About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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