authorities announced Monday morning they have arrested a suspect.
Los Gatos resident Landon Cramer, 19, was apprehended and booked into Santa Clara County Jail at 10 a.m., June 13, charged with two counts of arson, two counts of possession of an incendiary device, two counts of burglary and one count of animal cruelty, according to Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Sgt. Kerry Harris.
Cramer, who's out of jail after posting a $500,000 bail, is believed to have started the first blaze at the single-story home Oct. 28, 2011, causing nearly $300,000 in damages and almost killing a family dog that had been left inside the property in a small crate. The family who lives in the home was not harmed, as its members were not inside during the incident.
The second fire erupted Jan. 12 destroying the home's garage and most of the family's belongings, which had been placed there as the property was undergoing repairs and renovations from the first fire.
Dennis Johnsen, Santa Clara County Fire Department's Arson Unit chief, who had been investigating the fires along with personnel from the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, offered a $10,000 reward in January for any information about the fires.
Police and fire investigators, along with an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms executed a search warrant at Cramer's home based on information they gathered during their investigation and arrested him.
Investigators determined that the first fire was intentionally set using an accelerant in the family room and the bedroom of the family's teenage daughter and the second inferno was also determined to be deliberately set by the use of an accelerant, police authorities said.
Cramer is believed to be well known among the youth community in Los Gatos, police say, and they're asking for anyone who may have heard him make statements about the incidents to contact them. Those with information should call Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Det. Kevin Elliott at 408-827-3211.
The home is owned by single mother Jil Britt, who gave an interview to Los Gatos Patch after the second fire in January and expressed concern about her three children's lives. The fires also caused great concern and angst among the small neighborhood whose residents worried about the possibility of repeat fires.