The Houston Arson Bureau (HAB) has been investigating multiple fires set in the northwest area of Houston. A suspect, Joshua Rauch, was arrested and charged with second degree arson on Saturday, October 10, 2020, linked to some of the fires in Houston’s northwest area. The HAB then believed there was a second arsonist operating in the same area.
On October 16, 2020, a team of 6 arson investigators began conducting surveillance in the Heights/Timbergrove area with very limited information that included, a vague vehicle description and a general geographical area where recent fires had occurred.
During the surveillance operation, Investigator Bruce identified a vehicle that matched the description and while attempting to obtain a license plate number, an exchange of gunfire occurred between Investigator Bruce and the suspect, Joshua De La Cerda. De La Cerda is suspected in setting multiple fires in the area.
Investigations involving Joshua De La Cerda and Joshua Rauch are still ongoing. No additional details will be released at this time, except to state that the HAB is working with other law enforcement partners to ensure successful completion of these cases.
The HAB will be transparent and forthcoming with information as the investigation allows.