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CFO Sink Announces Reward Offered for Information in Arson of Home That Was Target of Anti-Islam Slurs

7/20/2007

CONTACT:   Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842; or
                        
Samuel Venzeio
(813) 927-8604
SARASOTA—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as state fire marshal, announced today that a reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for an intentionally set fire on July 6 at a Sarasota residence where anti-Islam slurs were also spray-painted throughout the home. 
 
“Arson is a violent crime and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to protecting Floridians from arson,” said CFO Sink.  “As in every arson case we investigate, we will follow every lead and we urge anyone with information about this particularly heinous crime to please come forward and help us get the perpetrator off the street.”
 
The reward money has been posted by the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention (FACAP), which includes the State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Detectives with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI), have determined that the fire was the result of arson.
 
In addition to the arson, which heavily damaged the home located at 5311 Avila Ave. in Sarasota, the arsonist spray-painted anti-Islam messages inside and outside the home.  The crime is also being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. There were no injuries reported.
 
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  To report information about this case or any suspected arson to the BFAI, call 1-877-NOARSON (1-877-662-7766).

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.