Roswell residents fed up with recent arsons

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Dozens of cars have been set on fire in Roswell, but police still don’t know who’s behind it.

Now, members of the community and Crime Stoppers are stepping in to help catch the arsonist.

In fact, Crime Stoppers says the arson cases are getting more attention than recent homicides.

They say some people are so desperate to find the fire bug they’re willing to pay someone with information to come forward on top of the $1,000 reward Crime Stoppers is already offering.

“There are thousands of dollars going up in flames,” said Jimmey Jones.

Twenty vehicles, a majority of them parked right outside of homes, have been torched since November.

Fire investigators admit they’re always a step behind whoever is responsible.

“It’s one of those situations where it is desperate,” said Jones.

So desperate, Chaves County Crime Stoppers is pitching in.

This week they released a radio ad pleading for someone with information to come forward.

Steve Wolf, an official with Crime stoppers, says there’s been more public interest in the arson cases than a lot of other crimes in the city including murders.

“It tells us people are frightened and they’re tired of it,” said Wolf.

Wolf says people are so concerned dozens of them have approached him asking if they can donate extra money to whoever can finally crack the case.

“Someone knows something,” said Terry Montgomery. “They should step up to the plate and get it taken care of.”

Residents say the community is nearing its breaking point and they’re worried things could get worse.

“The cars get on fire, then the house, then some humans could get burned too,” said Eliseo Martinez.

Neighbors say they’re hoping to improve their neighborhood watch programs to help catch whoever is doing this.

Fire investigators have sent evidence to the state crime lab.

They’re still waiting on those results.

Crime stoppers is offering a $1,000 award to anyone with information leading to the arsonist’s arrest.

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