SDSUPD captures suspected arsonist after 2 more fires on campus


File photo

File Photo

by Lauren J. Mapp, Senior Staff Writer

University police arrested a person on March 16 who is suspected of arson in a series of four fires that occurred over the course of three days in the College Area.

Madelyn Delarosa, a former SDSU student, was arrested by the San Diego State University Police Department and taken to jail for alleged possession of arson materials, arson to property and arson of an inhabited structure, SDSUPD spokeswoman Raquel Herriot via email.

“Since investigators had been working around the clock on these cases, UPD detectives quickly confirmed Delarosa was involved,” Herriott said.

The four fires took place between March 14 and 16. They injured no one.

The first two fires took place March 14 in a vehicle on Hardy Avenue near 55th Street at 11 a.m. and outside the door of an apartment building just a bit further east on Hardy Avenue at 12 p.m. The first fire was put out by an SDSUPD officer who was nearby and the second was extinguished by someone passing by.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department also responded to the scene, followed by the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team, which was called in to investigate on suspicion of arson. Herriot said Delarosa was soon identified as a potential suspect.

The third fire took place at an apartment on Montezuma Road near 55th Street around 8:30 a.m. on March 15 and was quickly extinguished.

In the fourth and most recent incident, a vehicle was set on fire near the same location as the first fire, on Hardy Avenue near 55th Street, on March 16 at 8:10 a.m. The car later caught fire under the hood again as a result of the earlier fire. The flame was extinguished by the San Diego Fire Department and the car was towed away.

“On Saturday night, the fire reignited under the hood as a result of the morning fire,” Herriott said via email. “It was not intentionally set on fire (the second time).”

Detectives were continuing to investigate all of the fires. A motive has not yet been determined, but Herriott said here does not appear to be a continued threat to the community.