Evanston police and fire officials are turning to the public for help in tracking down an arson suspect who, more than a week ago, set two cars ablaze after apparently pouring an “accelerant” on both.

According to a Wednesday, April 27, release from the Evanston Police Department, the front ends of the two cars, a Honda and a Toyota, were “engulfed in flames” and a third car, a Honda, was damaged by the heat. No one, however, was injured.

The two black-and-white surveillance videos and a photograph police released show a person on the evening of Tuesday, April 19, who is apparently pouring a liquid on the hoods of the cars and then lighting them on fire. 

Both cars were parked in the alley behind an apartment building at 2300 Sherman Ave. The two sequenced videos have a timestamp of 7:25 p.m., although the news release says the incident took place about 8:15 p.m. 

The first, 15-second-long video shows a person in pants and a hooded jacket or sweatshirt walking east and turning north into the alley. The person walks directly to the front of two cars in the fourth and fifth parking spaces behind the building.

The person then pours something on top of the car in the fifth space and moves to do the same to the lighter-colored car in the fourth space.

In the second, 19-second-long video, the person is standing in front of the cars, squatting slightly, when a small flash of light appears in his or her hands. A larger burst of light quickly follows as the person runs from the alley, heading west. 

The thumbnail-sized picture shows a slightly blurry person moving forward with their hands in their front pockets and their head completely covered. 

Anyone who may have information about the fire or the suspect is asked to call the Evanston Police Detective Bureau at (847) 866-5040 or text CRIME (274637) starting the note with “EPDTIP.”

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