San Francisco Police Make Arrest in Northern District Arson Investigation 20-038

In November of 2019, the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Investigations Division (SID) Arson Task Force began an investigation into a series of intentionally set fires in the Northern Police District. The investigation lead to the identification of a person of interest. On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Northern Station plainclothes team assisted the Arson Task Force with the investigation and began combing the district to locate the person of interest.

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at approximately 12:01 AM Northern Station officers followed the subject to Alamo Square Park at Pierce Street and Hayes Street. The subject ignited a fire against a restroom building structure and fled the scene. Officers began extinguishing the fire that had also ignited nearby foliage. The San Francisco Fire Department responded to the scene and completely extinguished the fire.

A plainclothes officer followed the suspect further into the park and spotted him in the process of igniting a second fire. The suspect saw the officer and quickly walked away. With the assistance of a second officer, the suspect was taken into custody after a brief struggle. A crime scene was established and officers located and seized the items used by the suspect to ignite the fires.

The suspect was identified as Mark Major, a 54-year-old San Francisco resident. Major was booked on arson charges which include felony charges of setting a structure on fire, willful and malicious setting a fire by distributing combustible or flammable substances on a structure or forest land, and possession of flammable or combustible incendiary devices with the willful and malicious intent to set fire to a structure or forest land.

Major has been linked to at least two other arson incidents in San Francisco. This includes a vehicle fire on the 400 block of Hickory Street on February 15, 2020, at approximately 10:00 PM and a vehicle fire at Linden and Laguna Streets on February 21, 2020, at approximately 9:20 PM.

Due to pending identification matters, Major’s booking photo is not being released at this time. Investigators are working to determine if Major is responsible for other arson incidents.

While an arrest has been made this remains an open investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the SFPD 24 Hour tip line at 1-415- 575-4444; Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

News Release