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Man charged in South Bay arson spree


GILROY – UPDATE ON JULY 13, 2023 AT 5:21 PM: A Gilroy man has been charged in an alleged arson spree that occurred over two weeks, prosecutors said.

Daniel Catano, 32, is accused of intentionally setting 10 fires in Gilroy and Morgan Hill, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

The fires were set between June 28 and July 10, and some forced evacuations. Other blazes burned fences, dumpsters, brush, and a trailer.

Deputy District Attorney Michel Amaral called the fires "seemingly random" and did not provide information about possible motive.

Catano will be arraigned on 10 felony counts of arson on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. His bail is over $1 million.

He was identified by the community after police released his image and subsequently arrested.

"The public, the police, and the firefighters have now done their jobs – and now we will do ours," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. "I am deeply thankful that no one was hurt or killed. This dangerous man’s personal fire season is over."

Chase Harlow, 26, was arrested on July 7 in connection with another fire at a CVS that also being investigated as an act of arson.

Police are working with Cal Fire and the district attorney's office to determine if Catano is connected to other fires.

Second suspect arrested in string of Gilroy arsons, police say

A second suspected arsonist linked to a series of fires in Gilroy is now in custody, according to Gilroy Police Department.

Authorities were investigating a series of blazes that occurred over the span of a week, believing they were intentionally set. 

A total of 10 fires began during the week of July 4 and continued throughout the week, raising suspicions that they were actually arsons, according to police.

Authorities arrested 26-year-old Chase Harlow in connection with a fire at a CVS pharmacy. However, surveillance video showed a different suspect at some of the other fire scenes. 

Fire locations included a burned trailer behind a Cardenas Market, several dumpsters, and several fences.

No further details were available about Tuesday's arrest at the time of publication.  


Police in Gilroy are searching for persons of interest following a series of recent suspicious fires.

In a statement Thursday, police said the fires have occurred in various locations across the city located in southern Santa Clara County. Preliminary evidence suggests the fires were intentionally set.

No injuries resulting from the fires have been reported. Additional details about the fires were not immediately available.

In an update Friday afternoon, police said there have been at least eight reported incidents since Monday, with fires taking places in retail businesses, waterways and apartment complexes. The apartment complex fires took place on fences and a dumpster and no residents have been displaced.

Photos of a person or persons of interest following a series of suspicious fires in Gilroy.

Police have released multiple photos of persons of interest. One of the photos appears to show a man wearing a black cap, a black t-shirt with a graphic, a black jacket with white stripes and green shoes.

The other photo shows a man on a bicycle wearing a black cap, gray t-shirt, dark pants and white shoes. The man in the second photo was also carrying what appears to be a black backpack.

On Friday afternoon, police released photos of another person of interest, who appears to be walking around in all-black clothing and wearing a face mask.

Photos of a person of interest connected to a series of suspicious fires in Gilroy in July 2023.

Anyone who may see the persons of interest are asked to call the Gilroy Police Department at 408-846-0350 or 911 if it's an emergency.

Meanwhile, tips can be submitted to Detective Catalina Fraide at 408-846-0335 or anonymously by calling 408-846-0330.

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