Police: We just want to talk

JPD, Crime Line ask for help ID'ing kids suspected of starting fires
This photograph provided by the Juneau Police Department shows an empty plastic bottle that police found in the woods behind a home on Miner Drive, where multiple small brush fires were started on May 8. Police and the Juneau Crime Line are asking the public for help identifying three kids who were seen leaving the area shortly before the fires were reported.

The Juneau Police Department and Juneau Crime Line are asking the public to help identify three kids suspected of starting multiple small brush fires in the woods behind a Mendenhall Valley residence on May 8.

If located, the juveniles would not be facing criminal charges since they are minors, JPD spokesman Lt. David Campbell said. He added that police just want to talk with them and their parents about the dangers of playing with fire.

“Given the age of the children, they are not likely candidates for criminal consequences,” Campbell wrote in a release, “but given the potential danger of the children continuing to start fires, the Juneau Police Department would like to identify the children, consult with parents and provide education and counseling about the dangers of playing with fire.”

Police say that two boys and one girl — between the approximate ages of 8 and 10 years old — were seen leaving the area of Miner Drive just before a 78-year-old woman called 911 to report smoke behind her neighbor’s house. The fires were already out by the time firefighters arrived on scene, and there wasn’t any property damage, Capital City Fire/Rescue said.

Police found evidence the trio apparently left behind at the scene — several small pieces of paper that had burned edges, a white Bic lighter and an empty plastic bottle that smelled of gasoline, Campbell said.

Police and the Crime Line encourage anyone with information about the case to report tips by calling JPD at 586-0600 or by reporting online at juneaucrimeline.com. Tipsters are guaranteed anonymity and can be rewarded.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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