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Police Arrest Man on Suspicion of Arson After String of Suspicious Fires

Witness identifies 37-year-old San Rafael man as the person who set a grass fire in east San Rafael Friday and at least one other fire prior to that, police said.

A 37-year-old San Rafael man was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of arson after a witness connected him to at least two of a number of fires set in east San Rafael in recent weeks, San Rafael Police said.

Julio Cesar Santamaria Murcia was arrested in the aftermath of a small grass fire reported about 2:30 p.m. Friday on Windward Way at Bellam Boulevard. The fire was in the in recent weeks.

In investigating Friday's fire, San Rafael police located a witness who said he saw the person who started the fire, according to police Sgt. Lisa Holton. The witness told police he was aware of one other fire the suspect set, Holton said.

Police arrested Santamaria a short time later on a bike path near the intersection of Baypoint Village Drive and Baypoint Drive. He was booked into Marin County Jail at about 4:15 p.m. on three felony counts of arson and an alleged probation violation, Holton said. He remains in custody on $25,000 bail.

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