PJ believes to have arrested man responsible for fire in Santo Tirso

in News · 06-08-2020 11:27:00 · 1 Comments

The Judiciary Police (PJ) is "convinced" that the person responsible for the fire that originated in Valongo and extended to Santo Tirso, where dozens of animals died, is an electrician who was arrested on 5 August by this police force.

"The start of this fire - which later took over the shelters [of animals in the Serra da Agrela, in Santo Tirso], and led to the death of the animals - occurred exactly in the same area where the suspect was [detained]. And the place where it started, the way it started and some elements that connect his presence in that place in the moments leading up to the start of the ignition, makes us convinced that this was also one of the fires started by the individual", said the director of the Northern Board of PJ, Norberto Martins.

The official was speaking to journalists at a press conference, after the PJ issued a statement in which they revealed that they had arrested a 29-year-old man with a criminal record suspected of setting fires in a forest area, but where "countless" companies and houses in Valongo and Baltar are located.

In the statement, the PJ recalled, regarding this detention, that "the case of the fire that killed dozens of animals has been reported, in a shelter in Agrela [municipality of] Santo Tirso", which "originated in Valongo".

Norberto Martins admitted as "possible" the thesis that the man, an electrician, was the author of the fire that hit two animal shelters located in Santo Tirso, in the Porto district, which, on 18 July killed 73 animals, a situation that has already led to the opening of an investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office and the challenge over the action of the rescue authorities.

However, the director of the Northern Directorate of the PJ sought to underline that the investigation is still ongoing.

"The investigation is difficult and complex (...). We are convinced that it was him, but he lacks other elements to substantiate our suspicion," said the director, who was speaking at the PJ's Porto facilities alongside Pedro Silva, coordinator of the Section for the Investigation of Crimes against Heritage and Life in Society (department that investigates fire crimes, adulteration of motor vehicles and theft of sacred art, among others).

Norberto Martins said that the suspect arrested on 5 August in Sobrado, in the municipality of Valongo, after starting a fire next to the Baltar kart track, in the municipality of Paredes, Isa used as a method of ignition a lighter and highly flammable material and presents "erratic behaviour".

The detainee is suspected of having started "maybe 30 fires" in this way, said the director of PJ do Porto, his motivation is not yet known.

"[The use of the same ignition method] makes us convinced that this [referring to that of the Santo Tirso kennels] was one of the fires started by him, but this needs to be developed. We are not sure what the motivation is behind this. He is a young individual who was already identified for the practice of setting fires two or three years ago", said Norberto Martins.


Comments:

If this 'suspect' had already been found guilty of setting fires two or three years ago, what the heck were the authorities doing allowing him to wander around freely? He should have been inside doing a stretch of at least five years. Now with 30 more fires to his name, plus the slaughter of all those innocent dogs, in light of the fact their is no death penalty, he should be incarcerated for life. Chances are, though, that he'll be out and about next year doing the same thing. Toughen up, Portugal!

By Ron from Other on 06-08-2020 12:25
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.