San Jose Police release name of serial arson suspect


A man suspected of lighting at least 12 fires in San Jose,  including a five-alarm warehouse fire, is behind bars and is being held on $1  million bail, police said today.

Patrick William Brennan, 48, of San Jose, was booked into the  Santa Clara County Mail Jail on two counts of arson after police arrested him  at about 8 p.m. Wednesday at his downtown home, San Jose police spokeswoman  Heather Randol said.

While Brennan only faces two counts of arson for now, police said  they believe he lit at least 12 fires between Jan. 8 and last Sunday, Randol  said.

Police expect to discuss the case with the Santa Clara County  District Attorney’s Office and arrest Brennan in connection with the other  fires soon, Randol said.

A series of fires was set between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. last  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the downtown area between Santa Clara  Street and William Street and between 17th Street and 33rd Street and then

Two more fires were reported in the area on Sunday morning.

Police said they believe Brennan started what turned into a  massive five-alarm fire at a 125,000-square-foot warehouse that housed  several companies at the intersection of North 28th and Julian streets  shortly before 5:30 a.m.,

Assistant Police Chief Eddie Garcia said, “We are fairly confident  that that case is an arson and the person we have in custody is responsible  for that.”

San Jose Fire Division Chief Barry Stallard said fire  investigators at first thought the warehouse blaze was not suspicious but  then suspected arson because “when you start having successive fires in the  same area, that one falls into the same group.”

The estimated damage caused by all of the fires combined “is in  the millions,” Garcia said.

Police arrested Brennan without incident at his residence near  East San Antonio Street, and he has been “very forthcoming” with  investigators, Garcia said.

Information that led to Brennan’s arrest came on Wednesday when a  police sergeant researched people living in the area of the fires who had  prior arrests for arson, Garcia said.

Brennan has been arrested in the past in connection with arson  fires in California and outside the state, and is “a registered arsonist”  locally, Garcia said.

Police then interviewed additional witnesses, reviewed  surveillance video and then obtained a warrant for Brennan’s arrest from a  judge, Garcia said.

“The videos were crucial,” Garcia said.

Garcia said he believes that Brennan was the man seen in  surveillance videos showing a man lighting the arson fires.

“At this point, we are extremely certain that we have the  individual responsible for all of the arsons that have occurred in the city,”  Garcia said.

Police are not yet sure about the suspect’s motive, Garcia.

(Copyright 2014 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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