NewsHillsborough County


Deputies arrest, charge man with burglary and arson after he set Tampa church on fire

Posted at 7:56 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 14:07:18-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- The suspect seen breaking into a Tampa church and then setting pews on fire has been arrested, officials said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Eugenio Rodriguez-Colina, 45, was arrested and charged on Wednesday.

Surveillance video captures him breaking into a church and then setting several pews on fire.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the suspect broke into Incarnation Catholic Church in Town 'n' Country a little after 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. The video then shows the shirtless suspect pouring flammable liquid onto the pews and then setting them all on fire.

Deputies say the fire caused thousands in damages.

That surveillance video obtained by the church was used to identify Colina, officials said.

Detectives, arson investigators and ATF investigators were able to charge him with burglary and arson of the Incarnation Catholic Church.

He was also charged for other crimes he committed.

“Houses of worship are such special places in our community, and we will never tolerate this type of criminal behavior,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I am thankful that through good detective work and the collaboration of multiple agencies we have taken this individual off of our streets so that he can no longer wreak havoc in Hillsborough County.”