Just before 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 13th, Contra Costa County Fire Investigators in cooperation with a Deputy District Attorney from the Contra Costa County DA’s office, Contra Costa County DA Investigators, the California Highway Patrol, Lafayette Police Department, and Concord Police Department made an arrest in the series of vehicle fires occurring in recent weeks throughout Contra Costa County.
James Bishop, III, a 36-year-old Pittsburg resident, was located in a residential area of Benicia, and as officers arrived in the area, the suspect appeared to set fire to a vehicle in a driveway. He was stopped a short distance away, and was taken into custody without incident and was taken to Concord PD for interviews, and his car towed to be searched for evidence. A search warrant was executed for his home so that it could be searched for additional evidence.
Bishop was booked on 43 different arson charges, and his bail is set at over $3.1 million. He is being charged by the DA’ office with one count of arson to an inhabited structure, nine counts of arson to property and eight counts of use of an accelerant to set a fire
Residents are still advised to be proactive about their own safety by making sure their homes are well lit on the outside, and any flammable materials are cleaned up from their homes exteriors, as well as making sure that every home has working smoke alarms.
Anyone who believes that they may have additional information regarding the series of fires is encouraged to contact the Arson Tip Line for Contra Costa County Fire at 1-866-50-ARSON.