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Arrests made in Dallas car fires

Four teens have been arrested in connection with the vehicle arsons that have plagued the Oak Cliff area over the past several weeks, according to a statement from Dallas police.

Police and fire officials and City Council members held a news conference on March 24 asking for the public's help in solving the 21 vehicle arsons since Feb. 28 and to detail their combined efforts to stop the crimes.

The fires, which included the torching of a Dallas deputy constable's patrol car, caused about $87,000 worth of damage in Oak Cliff and south Dallas, according to authorities. Most happened between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., Dallas Fire Chief Eddie Burns said. The cars were either parked in the owners' driveways or on streets in front of homes.

Officials said the culprits have poured gasoline on the cars or used Molotov cocktails to start the fires. A Molotov cocktail is an explosive device consisting of a glass container -- like a soda bottle -- gasoline and a fuse made from a strip of cloth.

Dallas Fire-Rescue personnel were called to the deputy constable's home in the 1400 block of East Ninth Street about 2 a.m. March 24 for a car fire. Damage was about $7,500, said Paul Lara, spokesman for Dallas Fire-Rescue. That fire followed four others the previous weekend, officials said.

North Texas Crime Stoppers increased its top reward, to $2,500, for information leading to the arrest and indictment of suspects, Burns said.

This story contains information from Star-Telegram archives.