Serial Arsonist Arrested in New Haven: PD

A man who is accused of setting several fires over the last few months in New Haven has been arrested.

Detectives and investigators from the New Haven Fire Investigations Unit say they have been hunting for what they call a serial arsonist since April of this year. Over the past three months, they say about 30 trash can fires covering approximately 16 acres centered at the New Haven Green have been set.

Last month, a detective and a fire investigations supervisor followed up on a trash fire that firefighters had extinguished around midnight on May 30. Officials say they noticed surveillance cameras on the New Haven Public Library that were focused toward the scene of the crime on Temple Street.

When the security footage was reviewed with the security guard, there were prominent images of the man suspected of setting the fire. The security guard said he knew the man since he'd been the subject of several past trespassing complaints at the library. Since the camera is programmed to move, the arson itself was not captured on camera, police say.

On June 5, officials say there was another fire at the same location. Firefighters responded, doused the flames and photographed the scene. After the fire, the fire investigations supervisor and the security guard checked the surveillance recordings. This time, officials say it showed the arson and arsonist.

Detectives were able to get an arrest warrant for 72-year-old Robert DiNuzzo of New Haven and he was arrested on June 7. Investigators say DiNuzzo confessed to setting several of the suspect fires. He is now facing charges including reckless burning, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Officers say DiNuzzo was released on a promise to appear at a later date.

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