La Jolla and San Diego, California
August 2003

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The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for a series of arsons where several residential condominium complexes were destroyed in La Jolla and San Diego, California, in 2003.


On August 1, 2003, at approximately 3:00 a.m., in La Jolla, California, a residential condominium complex construction site, with an estimated value of $50 million, was totally destroyed by fire.  A large white cloth with the message “IF YOU BUILD IT – WE WILL BURN IT THE ELF’S ARE MAD” was left at the scene. (Image is displayed above.) 


In addition, on September 19, 2003, in San Diego, California, two separate new home sites were also destroyed, including 4 completely built homes at the two sites.  Multiple ELF banners, similar to the one found on August 1, 2003, were left at both fire scenes.  Similar banners were left stating, “Environmental murder.  Nature demands justice. The E.L.F.s are mad.”


No injuries occurred at the scenes of these arsons.  In La Jolla, hundreds of nearby residents were evacuated.


The Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a radical international environmental group which advocates direct action through economic sabotage to stop the destruction of the natural environment reportedly, claimed responsibility. 



Submit a Tip:

Anyone with information regarding this crime should contact the FBI at: 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

You may also contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.

Field Office: San Diego

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