The SFPD has released surveillance footage from Sunday’s case of arson at the Main Library.

As previously reported, officers responded to the library, located at 100 Larkin St., at about 3:40 p.m. and found that books, video cassettes, a desk and computers had been burned in a section of the library that is closed to the public on Sundays, police spokesman Sgt. Daryl Fong said.

According to the Ex, the fire was set in the Library for the Blind and Print Disabled room when a man “reportedly grabbed some informational pamphlets from behind a reference desk, threw them on the floor and dropped a match” on them.

The resulting blaze damaged property to the tune of $5000, reports the Ex, though quick work by “one of our engineers and a custodian” means the fire was put out before the sprinklers kicked in, which would have caused even more property damage.

SFPD investigators obtained surveillance footage that captured the person who lit the items on fire, Fong said. You can watch that footage above, which shows “a person of interest entering and exiting a restricted area just prior to the arson occurring,” SFPD said is a press release.

The person of interest is described as a black man between 20 and 40 years old who has black hair and was wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, white shoes and a black baseball cap with a white logo, according to Fong.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department’s arson task force at (415) 920-2944. People wishing to remain anonymous can call the department’s tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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