Homeless Man Arrested in String of Arson Fires

A 73-year-old homeless man suspected of setting a series of fires in San Francisco’s Union Square and Financial District has been arrested, police said today.

Police said officers conducting surveillance on suspect Rickard Anderson on Wednesday caught him in the alleged commission of an arson fire.

He was arrested on suspicion of arson of property, possession of a flammable substance with intent to set fire to a structure, attempting to set fire to a structure, failure to register annually as a sex registrant and failure to update transient status, according to police.

Investigators believe Anderson committed several arson fires from Sunday to Wednesday and found evidence at the scene of one of the fires linking him to the crimes, police said.

In a statement, police credited not only investigators but also members of the public for sharing information that led to Anderson’s arrest.

Police are looking into whether he is responsible for other arson fires in the city.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call San Francisco police Inspector Julie Lazar at (415) 699-6142 or the police department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

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