Loop firebug has been setting dumpsters on fire for weeks, reports show

Update: Following the publication of our report, DePaul issued a new safety alert about Sunday’s first arson case.

A little firebug is roaming alleys and setting dumpsters ablaze in the Loop, according to a CPD report and officials at DePaul University. No serious damage has been reported in the fires, which have been popping up since early January.

Two fires were reported Sunday. DePaul security discovered one in a dumpster at 1 East Jackson around 1:45 p.m.

Then, around 6 p.m., a witness reported seeing a man setting a dumpster on fire behind 14 East Jackson, according to a CPD report. The suspect was described as a man wearing a blue jacket and carrying a green bag.

According to city records, Sunday’s second fire is the first one to be officially recorded in an arson report by Chicago police.

But DePaul University issued a public safety alert about arson fires around its downtown campus on January 20. In it, school officials said the arsonist is about 40-years-old with short black hair. The suspect had been seen wearing a black jacket, blue gym shoes with white stripes, and often carried a blue or maroon and gray backpack, according to the school’s bulletin.

DePaul said fires had been reported in an alley between the 200 blocks of South State Street and Wabash Avenue on January 2, January 3, January 16, and January 17.

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