Receive alerts from your local agencies
...or text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Full Notification

San Mateo, CA Police Department
Thursday March 21st, 2019 :: 03:03 p.m. PDT


**UPDATE** SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED - Help SMPD Identify Arson Suspects

For Immediate Release No. 20190321-020
Thursday, March 21, 2019
SMPD investigates suspicious garbage can fires downtown
San Mateo Police and San Mateo Consolidated Fire departments are investigating several garbage bins that were set on fire downtown in the early morning hours.
San Mateo, CA – On Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 3:23 a.m., the San Mateo Police and San Mateo Consolidated Fire departments were dispatched to a fire in an alley behind the first block of Second Avenue in downtown San Mateo. As Fire and Police arrived on scene, they determined the fire was set in a group of garbage cans and located additional garbage cans on fire in the area of the initial call.
According to surveillance, two individuals were seen leaving the area at the time of the fire and police are now asking for the public’s help in identifying persons of interest. Officials deemed the fires to be suspicious and launched an ongoing arson investigation. Officers are actively investigating leads and have increased patrols downtown.
San Mateo Police and San Mateo Consolidated Fire departments are conducting this joint arson investigation to bring the downtown arson suspects to justice. We are working around the clock and appreciate the cooperation of several business owners who are working with police on providing surveillance video to help identify persons of interest. Anyone with information, or who may have access to video footage of the area, is encouraged to contact police immediately.
Remember, if “you see something, say something.” We’re encouraging our community, both residents and businesses, to utilize security cameras. They are especially helpful in identifying suspicious activity when cameras are facing the street. Our officers regularly canvass for surveillance and you can help us by notifying SMPD where cameras are located in your neighborhood at  
This is an on-going investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Lau at (650) 522-7617 or by email at Anonymous tips can be submitted to or by calling (650) 522-7676. 
Officer Michael Haobsh
Media Relations & Community Services
San Mateo Police Department
Desk: (650) 522-7626

San Mateo, CA Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy
San Mateo, CA 94403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-522-7700

TEXT-A-TIP -  Text TIP SANMATEOPD followed by your message, to 888777

Submit an anonymous web tip

Navigate & Discover