Police Seek To Identify Heart Of Chicago Arsons Person Of Interest

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are seeking to identify a person thought to be connected to the series of arsons that occurred last month in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, leaving one man dead and 39 people displaced.

Police are asking for the public's help identifying a person sought in connection with a fatal series of arsons last month in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. (Credit: Chicago Police)

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a person sought in connection with a fatal series of arsons last month in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. (Credit: Chicago Police)

Authorities released Friday surveillance camera footage and images of a male seen riding a bike near the 2100 block of South Paulina in the early morning hours of Sept. 16. Detectives are looking to identify and speak with this man, who may be in connection with six fires that were started in garbage cans in the alleyways of the 10th and 12th Districts between 2:45 and 3:20 a.m.

59-year-old Venancio Veracruz Benitez was found unresponsive in a garage fire in the 2100 block of West 21st Street, authorities said, connected to these arsons.

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a person sought in connection with a fatal series of arsons last month in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. (Credit: Chicago Police)

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a person sought in connection with a fatal series of arsons last month in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. (Credit: Chicago Police)

The man in the surveillance video and photos is described to be a white or Hispanic male, 5-foot-10 or taller, weighing about 180 pounds, police said. He was wearing a baseball cap, long-sleeved soiled shirt and red, knee-length shorts riding a bicycle.

Anyone with information on this man or the night of the arsons, should call arson detectives at (312) 746-7618.

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