Tampa Police stepped up patrols in Tampa Heights Tuesday, after someone set three fires in less than an hour Monday morning.
A neighbor reported the first fire at 3809 N. Highlands Ave. at 5:47 a.m. In less than an hour, homes on N. Tampa St., and Arlington Ave. were also on fire.
"Whoever did it, they made sure they did a good job," said patrol officer Dennis Cooper.
Cooper started his day at 5:35 a.m., and spent most of it driving the streets of Tampa Heights. TPD is putting more patrol cars and plain clothes officers on the streets, hoping to catch the arsonist before that person has the chance to strike again.
"We want to prevent anyone from being hurt, or any property being severely damaged," said Cooper.
Police said the fire bug is targeting unoccupied homes, and there are plenty of those in the area.
"To hear that it actually is arson does concern me," said Gail Smiley-Dixon, crime watch coordinator for Tampa Heights. She said residents should receive an email blast with information about the investigation.
Tampa Fire Rescue said the case is still under investigation. The department didn't release any new information on Tuesday. But Tampa Police said the department has a vague description of a suspect.
Cooper said it's important for residents to stay alert for any suspicious behavior. He believes the arsonist could try to strike again.
"Chances are they won't strike today or tomorrow," he said. "They'll wait."
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