Reward up to $5K offered for info in Sonic arson fires

ATF releases video, photo of Sonic arson suspect

SAN ANTONIO – A reward of up to $5,000 is now being offered for information in the recent arson fires that destroyed a Sonic restaurant on the city's far West Side.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office announced the reward Tuesday in the hopes of receiving information that leads to the identification and/or arrest of the person(s) responsible.

ATF said the first incident at the Sonic restaurant, located in the 10700 block of Marbach Road near Loop 1604, occurred Nov. 19 around 3:26 a.m.

A video (above) released by ATF shows a man throwing a rock through the restaurant's front door and then using several improvised incendiary devices, or IIDs, to light a fire inside the building.

A week later, on Nov. 26, a man broke a side door with a brick around 3 a.m. and entered the same Sonic. The man then started a fire inside the restaurant, which rendered the Sonic a "total loss," ATF officials said.

RELATED: ATF investigating series of fires at Far West Side fast-food restaurant

The ma nis described as being between 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall and has a slim build. He was seen wearing dark pants; a dark, hooded jacket; gloves and boots.

"Arson is a violent crime, and ATF is committed to working with our partners quickly to apprehend those responsible, as well as to prevent more crimes from occurring," Fred Milanowski, ATF Houston Field Division special agent in charge, said.

The restaurant's managers spoke with KSAT 12 shortly after the second fire, saying the location opened just two months ago and employs more than 55 people.

A Sonic spokesperson sent a statement Nov. 28 to KSAT that reads:

"The franchisee who owns and operates this drive-in is working with local officials and his insurance company to determine the extent of the damage. Once that is determined, a timeline for reopening the drive-in will be established. Crew members are being provided support while the drive-in is closed, and some crew members will temporarily work at other nearby drive-ins."

Anyone with information regarding the Sonic arson fires is urged to contact ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS. Information can also be sent to ATFTips@atf.gov, its website or anonymously through the Reportit app.

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