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San Diego fire investigators seek public help finding Horton Plaza hot dog cart arsonist

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Posted at 2:13 PM, Oct 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 17:22:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego fire investigators are searching for the person responsible for setting a hot dog cart in Horton Plaza on fire two months ago.

San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) said the incident occurred on Sept. 24 just before 6 a.m. after an unknown suspect intentionally lit the canvas cover to the Brooklyn Dogs hot dog cart on fire. The cart was parked near the main staircase to Westfield Horton Plaza at Broadway Circle, adjacent to Horton Plaza Park.

The cart has been stationed in Horton Plaza for half a decade. Damages to the cart were estimated at $8,000, according to MAST.

RELATED: Horton Plaza vendor grills mall security after cart burns down

An unidentified person was seen running from the area, investigators said.

Anyone with information is asked to call MAST at 619-236-6815 or San Diego Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. The Metro Arson Strike Team consists of members from SDPD, SDFD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

10News caught up with the hot dog cart's owner, Pete Soto, shortly after the incident. While speaking with reporter Anne State, mall security approached and asked Soto to cover the cart.

Soto refused, asking, "you guys get paid to secure this place, right? Where were you when this got burned down?"

Soto eventually put the tarp back over the scorched cart. He questioned the mall's security and the current state of Westfield Horton Plaza.

"This is not Horton Plaza anymore. This is a homeless encampment," Soto said.