Eustis police staying vigilant ahead of possible arsonist threat

Suspected arsonist spray-painted demands before Dec. 15

EUSTIS, Fla. – Eustis police officers will make sure they are extra vigilant Saturday after a suspected arsonist spray-painted demands at a scene of a fire along with a date of Dec.15. 

On Nov. 19, Eustis police and firefighters were called to Mid-Florida Pathology on Prevatt Street in response to several vehicle fires. When officers got there, they counted 13 charred vehicles in the parking lot and across the street at Eustis Chiropractic was a cryptic message spray-painted on the side of the wall. The message demanded for a name to be taken off with a sex offender list with a date of Dec. 15. 

"We are just going to keep our eyes open," said Senior Officer Jim Franquiz with the Eustis Police Department. 

Franquiz said they don't necessarily see the date as a threat but will make sure their officers are vigilant this weekend. 

This is the second incident that has the same mysterious message. 

On Oct. 20, Tavares police were called out to a pediatrician's office that had been vandalized with the spray paint, same writing and same message, but with a clear threat. 

'"I am a sex offender. Message to LCSO.org. Registration needs to call FDLE to remove low grade sex (offense) off FDLE website one off (sic) does not need to be there comply by this date 10/22/18 or one piece of Lake County property will burn."

Weeks later, on Nov. 19, Eustis police had 13 burnt cars to investigate. 

"I do understand the date of the threat that was mentioned in the Tavares case was off the deadline, so we are going to be vigilant as I suggest everybody do all the time," Franquiz said. 

Eustis police ask for residents to also be vigilant this weekend and if they see something, to say something. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477) or the Eustis Police Department 352-357-4121.

About the Author: