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Police Need Leads in Unrelated Fire Incidents at 2 Schools

Police believe someone broke into a counselor's office at Manhattan Beach Middle School and then tried to light items in the office on fire.

Manhattan Beach police are looking for arsonists and a burglar who attempted to set fires on two school campuses.
Manhattan Beach police are looking for arsonists and a burglar who attempted to set fires on two school campuses.
Two recent incidents on school campuses are not related, according to police.

In each instance, someone attempted to set a fire on a school campus. On Sunday, Nov. 17, a lone man was captured on security footage setting six fires on the campus of Robinson Elementary School. On Monday, Dec. 2, police determined a counselor's office at Manhattan Beach Middle School had been broken into, and an arson attempt made, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

John Jackson, the middle school principal, told the Easy Reader that nothing was stolen but that someone had attempted to set a file cabinet on fire

School district officials are looking into why an alarm system was not triggered when the break-in occurred during the week-long Thanksgiving holiday recess, said Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

Matthews said there was no usable video footage from the middle school incident.

The Nov. 17 incident did generate video that police released, however, as of late last week, it had not generated any leads, said Det. Sgt. Paul Ford of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

Police are asking anyone with information on either incident to contact them. Det. Shawn Thompson can be reached at (310) 802-5124.

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