DETROIT — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is increasing its reward from $5,000 up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the fires set to several structures belonging to The Heidelberg Project on the East Side of Detroit.
The Detroit Fire Arson Unit is today releasing a second video of the individual who appeared to set the Nov. 23, 2014, fire at the Heidelberg’s “Taxi House,” and a video of who is believed to be the same subject responsible for the Sept. 18, 2014, fire at the Detroit Industrial Gallery located at 3647 Heidelberg in Detroit.
To date, from May 2 until Nov. 23, 2014, there have been 11 fires set to various structures of the Project, with the latest being the Nov. 23 fire. Experts from ATF and the Detroit Fire Department Arson Unit have determined that the fires were intentionally set. Most of the structure fires were a total loss.
In addition to the ATF reward, the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee is offering an additional $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the fires, increasing the total potential reward to $20,000.
The Heidelberg project is a world renowned art exhibit started in 1986 by Artist Tyree Guyton using vacant homes in the area bordering Mt. Elliot and Mack on Detroit’s East Side.
“Information provided by the public is a valuable resource for law enforcement. The fires are serious, potentially harmful or deadly to the community and those firefighters who respond to them,” said Steven Bogdalek, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Detroit Field Division. “ATF and the Detroit Fire Arson Unit are asking for the public’s help in bringing the person or person’s responsible for these fires to justice.”
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact the Detroit Fire Arson Unit at (313) 628-2900 or the ATF hotline 1-888-ATF-FIRE (283-3473). Tips may remain anonymous. This is a joint investigation between ATF and the Detroit Fire Department Arson Unit.
ATF is the federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction for investing crimes of arson. More information and ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.