LACEY, Wash. — Police need help to hunt down an arsonist who allegedly set fire to the Bongiorno Brew coffee stand.
Surveillance cameras caught the fireball that destroyed the stand on Lacey Boulevard last week, but the cameras also caught a glimpse of the suspect.
The coffee shop is still closed and the damage inside is extensive. But the DVR recording the surveillance cameras survived and caught the suspect in the act.
Police say the suspect had a clear plan. He first shattered the glass, then lit a bucket full of accelerant on fire and tossed it into the stand.
“He planned it out,” said Lacy police detective Jeremy Knight. “He came up and it was clear he had an idea about what he was going to do.”
It took him just 30 seconds but the flames quickly grew out of control. Emergency crews put the fire out quickly.
“One of our patrols was in the area when the fire was set and was able to extinguish it pretty quick,” said Knight.
“There’s a lot of black soot,” said Sara Bongiorno
Bongiorno’s family owns the coffee stand. It’s been empty for months but now Sara wonders if it will ever be open again.
“We don’t even know if we want to rebuild because we don’t want to rebuild for somebody to come vandalize it again,” she said.
All that’s left inside is black soot and melted appliances. Bongiorno said the coffee stand was supposed to be an investment in her own family.
“It’s very frustrating. I feel bad for my uncle,” she said. “He bought this stand to help me and my sister move up here from California to better ourselves and our lives.”
Detectives said their suspect is a white male in his 20s or 30s with blond or light brown hair. He was also seen wearing brown or orange shoes and the seat on the suspect’s bicycle sits very high.
Bongiorno said she doesn’t know why anyone would target her family’s coffee stand – and hopes someone recognizes the suspect.
“I want to see him arrested and I want him to tell us why he did this,” she said. “What did we do to him for him to feel like he needs to come burn down our building?”
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information – if you know who the suspect is, police urge you to call 1-800-222-TIPS.