CONCORD, CALIF. – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today announced its fire investigators assisted Martinez Police in an arson arrest for a commercial structure fire set in Martinez Monday.
John Shannon, 47, resident of Martinez, was arrested on Fire to Inhabited Structures (PC § 451(b)). The arrest occurred at 3334 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez near the scene of the fire at 6683 Alhambra Avenue, which had been reported at 11:15 a.m. Monday.
Investigators determined the suspect had been seen by witnesses loitering in the area prior to the fire. He was further seen entering the Starbucks’ restroom and, shortly after exiting, the building began to fill with smoke, coming from the bathroom. Shannon was the only person in that part of the building. Employees opened the bathroom door to see a trashcan and toilet, stuffed with trash and toilet paper, on fire. Surveillance video later confirmed witness reports.
Shannon was located nearby by Martinez Police and identified by witnesses in a field lineup. He was arrested by Martinez Police and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility for booking. Martinez Police are expected to file the case with the District Attorney this week.
Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit asks residents to help them fight arson crime across the county by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant to matter, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was important to an investigation.
Residents can leave a recorded message on the tip line about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish. Tips can be anonymous, and all tips are treated confidentially. But, investigators sometimes need additional information, so contact information is encouraged.
About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) — A recognized fire service leader – – Con Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to more than a million people across its 304 square-mile District area, and through mutual aid, in and around the 20 cities and unincorporated communities of Contra Costa County, California. With few exceptions, county emergency ambulance transport services are provided by Con Fire through its unique sub-contractor Alliance model across the District and beyond to include some 520 square miles of the county. In 2020, the District responded to some 75,000 fire and EMS emergencies and dispatched some 95,000 ambulances, providing expert medical care on more than 74,000 ambulance transports. The District, with 26 fire stations and more than 400 employees, is dedicated to preserving life, property, and the environment