Contra Costa Serial Arsonist Convicted Of 31 Felonies

December 6, 2018 12:10 pm · 10 comments

A serial arsonist from Pittsburg has been convicted of 31 arson-related felonies this week, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials announced today.

James Bishop III faces up to more than 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 25, according to the fire district.

Bishop was arrested in May 2017 after authorities noticed an increase in the number of vehicle fires in the area, with many sharing common characteristics such as the use of an accelerant on the cars’ exteriors, fire
officials said.

Using security footage from homes and businesses near the scenes of the fires, investigators identified a Toyota RAV4 associated with Bishop and arrested him on May 12.

A Contra Costa County Superior Court jury found him guilty Tuesday in connection with 14 fires among 45 that were examined as part of the investigation. The fires occurred in Pittsburg, Antioch, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Brentwood and Benicia.

“In this county, we take fire investigation very seriously and I am especially proud of the teamwork of all involved agencies that has resulted in this arsonist who placed our citizens’ lives and property in jeopardy being safely behind bars,” Fire Chief Jeff Carman said in a news release.

Elwood December 6, 2018 at 1:18 PM

Only 20 years for 31 felonies? Such a deal!

The Know December 6, 2018 at 2:20 PM

This man has some mental issues, perhaps addictive issues, and his motives are unclear at the moment. To imagine the damage that is cause with little to no knowledge of the direct impact of the individuals harmed in these fires. No putty, he is detached from the ones he’s hurting from these actions. He will need some serious evaluation and mental help. Arsonists, thats some crazy stuff.

Darwin December 6, 2018 at 3:03 PM

@the know
Mental health issues??? Addiction ???
So what, lock him up forever, I do not care about this arsonist one bit.

Noj December 6, 2018 at 3:21 PM

So sentence him already. Let him get sorted out in the general population.

Original G December 6, 2018 at 4:03 PM

And the cost of the trial was HOW MUCH ? ? ? ?

Ian December 8, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Who cares how much the trial cost? If we are going to have trials to lock people up in our society, this is one of the ones we all want locked up. If your going to complain about cost, choose a different crime.

Original G December 8, 2018 at 5:09 PM

Very few people realize costs involved in a trial.
Also need to realize why plea deals are done, Is often to save taxpayers cost of a trial. Number of Felony charges, would think, made a trial inevitable.

Nunya December 6, 2018 at 4:30 PM

chuck him in the next fire, see if that wipes the smirk off his face

PHiller December 6, 2018 at 8:40 PM

I hope he gets the maximum. Serial arsonists don’t stop.

Anonanonagain December 7, 2018 at 12:05 PM

@ Nunya, I was thinking the same thing. He is half smirking and thinks he is all that. I’d love to see someone wipe that smile off his face and do it hard!!!

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