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Arson increased by 82% in Tacoma during 2021, police say

During a citywide briefing, Tacoma Police reported that arsons have increased almost 82 percent since last November.

TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma’s Police have some worrying numbers for the city.

During a citywide briefing on Nov. 21, the Tacoma Police Department brought in data that shows crime on the rise in a variety of areas, with the sharpest increase in arson.

“It’s not a yard waste fire that someone started and it got away from them,” said Alex Wilsie, assistant fire chief for the Tacoma Fire Department explained. “This is something where someone set this fire with the intent on burning whatever they set fire to down.”

Tacoma PD’s numbers show that arson offenses have increased by nearly 82 percent.

While the reasons people set fires may vary, they often show up in the same types of buildings

“Suspicious fires are up in Tacoma, and common locations for these fires are sheds, detached garages, encampments, and vacant buildings,” Wilsie said.

He went on to advise that if you do see someone lighting a fire, that you do not directly engage with them or endanger yourself, but to call the Tacoma Police Department and let the proper authorities handle the situation.

“If you see it, try to get some identification, such as height, weight, build, and if they’re in a vehicle, try to get that license plate for us, and call 911 and report it,” he warned.

The Tacoma Police Department also showed some crimes decreased in the most recent report. Drug offences were down almost 62 percent since November 2020, prostitution was down over 33 percent, and weapons law violations have gone down over nine percent.