Flares, fluid cleanup kit taken from school buses

Suspects used flares to try to start fires
Jessica Cuffman
Nov 9, 2013
Fremont detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the people who stole flares from two school buses and tried to start two fires last weekend, Fremont police Chief Tim Wiersma said.

Just after 9 p.m. Nov. 2, Fremont firefighters and police responded to a call about a wood pile on fire in the 900 block of Napoleon St. They arrived to find one burned flare and one unburned flare, and it appeared as if someone had unsuccessfully tried to set a wood pile on fire.

Not 15 minutes later, half a mile away, another call came in about a Dumpster on fire in an alley near a church in the 200 block of South Park Ave., according to a police report.

Firefighters doused the blaze, then pointed officers to a flare they suspected started the fire.

Officers at the scene talked to a witness who helped pull the Dumpster away from the church. The witness told police he had help from another man, who left the scene in a blue Pathfinder before emergency crews arrived.

The following morning, police learned where the flares probably came from: two buses parked in the St. Joseph Central High School parking lot had been robbed overnight.

The items missing: five flares and a body fluid cleanup kit, according to the police report. The burned flares were found at crime scenes just three blocks away from the school.

“With the fires happening at the same time, it makes you think there’s more than one suspect,” Wiersma said. “Detectives are looking into it. Anything anyone has heard would be helpful.”

Anyone with information can call Fremont police at 419-332-6464