Local News

May 22, 2014 12:34 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

$20,000 Reward in Arson Case

CORPUS CHRISTI - A big cash reward is up for grabs. Investigators need help identifying at least two suspects, they say are responsible for setting a local business on fire. That fire destroyed one of the Jet Specialty buildings on Leopard Street near Southern Minerals Road on Easter Sunday.

Employees at Jet Specialty are still cleaning up clutter, 30 days after flames burned up everything inside.

Investigators say it is a case of arson. Gary Schroeder, Manager of the Fabrication Facility says he believes an ex-employee or someone familiar with the facility is to blame.

"Immediately when the suspect gained entry through a window, he walked in a diagonal motion across the warehouse and the first thing he did was disable the camera that was up in the corner of the building," Schroeder said.

He says multiple on-site security cameras caught the suspects walking around the property, prior to the fire. He says, it's how the two got into the warehouse that stirred his suspicions.

"That would be the window they gained access through," Schroeder said.

The company, which sells equipment for work in the oil field is ready to reward anyone that can help with an arrest.

"We're willing as Jet Specialty, as a corporation, to offer a 20-thousand dollar reward for the apprehension of these suspects," Schroeder said.

Aside from all of the damage, the only thing Schroeder says was stolen, really surprised him.

"Two vending machines that were broke into, cut with a cutting torch and broke into to steal the coin boxes," he added.

That loose change is the least of his worries as the damage toll mounts. The entire building will have to be demolished and re-built.

"We're probably looking at approximately a million dollars and that really doesn't include the disruption of business," Schroeder said.

Schroeder says, ultimately the company is willing to pony up, so the suspects pay up for what they did.

If you have any information about this crime you can contact CCPD at 888-TIPS or call Jet Specialty directly at 361-299-1711.

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