SHIZUOKA (TR) – Shizuoka Prefectural Police have arrested a cop-turned-fireman suspected in a series of arson attacks dating back to last year that targeted agricultural properties in Hamamatsu City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 23).
At around 2:00 p.m. on June 17, Kanta Shimizu, 29, is alleged to have started a fire that destroyed a 20-square-meter equipment shed belonging to a farmer, 66, in Kita Ward.
Shimizu, who has been charged with arson inside an uninhabited building, has declined to comment on the allegations.
Since March of last year, the suspect is believed to have been involved in 15 other incidents that targeted mandarin orange trees and agricultural warehouses.
According to the Hosoe Police Station, the suspect was a policeman until several years ago. In April, he began working as a fireman for a local brigade.
Police first arrested Shimizu for falsely telephoning in a tip that a factory warehouse was on fire. He was subsequently prosecuted at the Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka District Court on charges of interfering with a person’s duties.