FBI Releases New Videos, Announces $20,000 Reward for Information About Arsons at Area Chabad Centers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Arlington Police Department, the Needham Police Department, and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal are releasing new videos and offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual, or individuals, allegedly responsible for at least three arsons at Chabad Centers in Arlington and Needham, Massachusetts.
On May 11, 2019, at approximately 11 p.m., authorities were alerted to a fire at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life of Arlington-Belmont in Arlington, Massachusetts. Five days later, on May 16, 2019, at approximately 8:50 p.m., authorities were alerted to another fire at the same Chabad Center. Later that same evening, just before 10 p.m., authorities responded to a fire at the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center in Needham, Massachusetts.
Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an individual who may have information relevant to the investigation. At the time of the incidents, surveillance footage captured an unknown male, approximately 5’11” in height, slowly walking to and from the locations where the fires were set. The man appears to be wearing a dark North Face jacket with the hood pulled over his head and khaki pants. He is also seen carrying unknown items in each hand.
A seeking information poster which includes enhanced photographs and surveillance videos of the individual can be found here.
In the Arlington video, taken on May 11th, three different cameras show the unknown male walking down Lake Street in the immediate vicinity of the Chabad Center at the time of the fire. In the Needham video, the same man walks in front of the Chabad Center toward the area where the fire was set. Approximately one minute and 40 seconds later, he turns abruptly, looks back in the direction of the fire, and walks towards the street and down the sidewalk.
“Two families shared not only their religious faith but the expectation of feeling safe in their own homes, were visited by menacing intentions,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Although surveillance video has given us a promising start to this investigation, it will be the public’s eyes that help us bring justice home to them. So if you recognize the individual in these videos, please contact us immediately.”
The FBI is offering a monetary reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual, or individuals, responsible for these arsons. Anyone with information should call the FBI Boston Division at (857) 386-2000. Tips can also be electronically submitted at tips.fbi.gov.