NEWS RELEASE : 1/6/2022 – 12:35 PM The Hillsboro Herald has just learned through a substantiated source (private party) that a man is now being held in Custody in Washington County for starting the #Fire at the Weil’s Department Store and the Weil Arcade which burned the building to the ground and destroyed many businesses.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Steve Callaway of Hillsboro
-The information we have was confirmed with a Washington County member of the legal system. The information we have is the man may have diminished mental capacity and seemed to smile into a camera. He has admitted to the Weil Fire, according to the source.
Yesterday I was shown footage of a man systematically and methodically breaking into the building and starting the fire That footage is the most calculating and chilling piece of footage I think I have ever seen. In the film, a man breaks a window and enters the Weichert Real Estate offices on Main Street at about 2:20 AM with a large backpack. He proceeds to spend 15 to 20 minutes in the building as flames are seen. He left with bags filled with items and seems to return after the building is ablaze. I was asked not to discuss the film further, but it has been hard. It is possible others may be involved. Our offices are walled off behind a plywood wall directly across from the fire, and knowing there was an arsonist out there was more than I could handle. Yet we stayed quiet.
We will let HPD, Washington County, and our amazing fire team take it from here. Chief Downey and HFD have been incredible, next level in this matter.
God bless you all and those who have been affected can sleep easier tonight. Catch the rest of the story on the networks- we are local and often first. I am willing to stand by the information I have just reported on behalf of our news media site.
Thank you all who contributed to the capture of this monster.
FULL STORY- Hillsboro Police Department
Hillsboro Police Detectives Arrest Suspect for the Weil Arcade Fire (Photo) – 01/06/22
In the early hours of January 2, 2022, a 4-alarm fire erupted at 231 East Main Street in Downtown Hillsboro. Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department crews worked with assistance from neighboring fire departments to contain the fire and to protect nearby businesses and residents.
Once the fire was contained, the Hillsboro Police Department’s Investigations Unit, the Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) convened a task force to investigate the case.
On January 5, 2022, Hillsboro Police Department detectives arrested ROEL LEON, age 34, of Hillsboro, for the arson at the Weil Arcade committed on January 2, 2022.
In addition, Leon was arrested for arsons committed on two nearby vehicles on January 2, 2022, as well as a burglary in Downtown Hillsboro committed on December 4, 2021.
Leon was lodged in the Washington County Jail and charged with felony crimes: Two counts of Arson-II and three counts of Burglary-II.
Partnerships Help Solve Case
We appreciate the assistance and support of the Hillsboro business community, community members, and the Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department.
Hillsboro Fire & Rescue investigators are still working to determine the official cause of the fire.
If anyone has more information related to this case, please contact Detective Michelle Hahn of the Hillsboro Police Department at 503-681-6190, or email Michelle.Hahn@hillsboro-oregon.gov in reference to HPD case numbers 21-20779, 22-54, 22-55, and 22-102.
Oh how awful, that a sick, disgusting individual could do such an outlandish cruel act. Thank you for catching him or them!!
Dirk – we want to share with you the video footage you refer to above for the HIllsboro Herald – your documentation of this tragic Downtown Hillsboro Fire his been outstanding! Thank You for all you do for our town my friend!
Any update on how the case against the arsonist went, or is going?