FORT BRAGG, 3/27/21 — A 47-year-old Clearlake man has been apprehended in two attempts to set homes on fire in Fort Bragg on Friday. Police are asking for help from anyone who may have seen anything or have video related to the case.
The following is a press release from the Fort Bragg Police Department:
On 03/26/2021, at approximately 8:53 a.m., Officers responded to the report a structure fire in the 300 Block of N. Harbor Drive. Officers were on scene within two minutes and assisted alongside the Fort Bragg Fire Department with evacuating the occupants and their pets. The Fire Department was able to successfully extinguish the fire allowing it to only cause minor damage to the exterior of the building.
An initial investigation by the Fort Bragg Fire Department revealed that the fire was intentionally set. An Arson Inspector from CalFire responded and confirmed that the incident was arson. Later, that day, at approximately 6:24 p.m., Officers responded to the 300 Block of Perkins Street for the report of a prowler in the area. Officers checked the area and located a suspect on the railroad tracks near Rose Memorial Cemetery matching the description. The suspect was later identified as Robert Fielden and he immediately fled on foot when contacted by the Officer.
The Officer lost sight of Fielden but continued the pursuit eastbound on the railroad tracks in an attempt to locate him. While checking the area, the Officer located a freshly started brush fire with one citizen arriving to attempt to extinguish. Officers assisted in the extinguishing of the fire until the Fire Department arrived on scene, before continued eastbound in the search for Fielden.
Officers were able to coordinate a perimeter and apprehend Fielden concealed in the wooded area east of the 600 Block of N. Harold Street. Fielden was taken into custody without incident and found to be in possession of butane torches, methamphetamine, and paraphernalia.
With Fielden in custody, Officers contacted the original reporting party for the prowler and learned that Fielden had been observed on their property via surveillance video. An investigation at that residence revelaed evidence indicating that FIelden had attempted to intentionally set that residence on fire in a similar manner to the fire from 300 N. Harbor Drive.
The Fort Bragg police Department requested and was granted an increased bail for Fielden and he remains incarcerated at the Mendocino County Jail. The Police Department is now asking the public and businesses within the City to review surveillance video for 03/26/2021 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in an attempt to identify Fielden’s location. A video has been added to the Fort Bragg Police Department’s Facebook page showing the clothing Fielden was wearing at the time of the suspected incidents.
If you have any additional information related to this incident please contact Officer McHugh at 707-961-2800 ext. 167 or at [email protected]. If you locate potentially physical evidence related to this investigation contact our non-emergency dispatch at (707) 964-0200