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Bartender helps police identify arson suspects after they didn’t leave a tip

A bartender has helped police in Florida identify two suspected arsonists, after recognising one of them on video footage of the crime as a customer who hadn’t left a tip.

Bartender identifies arson suspects: damage done to Florida landmark
Credit: Facebook

Florida police they have identified two suspects who committed arson on New Year’s Eve on a Key West landmark.

A local bartender was reportedly instrumental in identifying one of the suspects, after he recognised a man as someone he had served earlier that night who didn’t leave a tip.

That made finding his credit card slip relatively easy, and information was subsequently passed to the police.

Key West police wrote on Facebook that two suspects had set fire to a Christmas tree placed in front of local landmark the Southernmost Buoy, causing significant damage.

In a follow-up post police said that arrest warrants had been issued for two men.

“At about 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Key West Police and Key West Fire and Rescue were called to a reported fire at the Southernmost Point at the corner of South and Whitehead. They arrived to find the charred embers of the Christmas tree. The fire left a burned scar on the Southernmost Buoy that was about three feet wide and seven feet tall.” Key West police wrote.

“The two suspects were caught on multiple cameras. Footage, some of which quickly spread on social media, shows one man dragging the tree to the location. They hid when a car drove by, then took several pictures on their phones of each other in front of the tree and buoy. Then, while one man checked the surroundings, the other lit the tree, and a fire raged. One man took one last photo of the blazing tree before the two ran out of camera range.”

The police department said that the two individuals had arranged to hand themselves in.

Related: bartender sparks debate after showing six receipts from New Year’s weekend with no tips added.

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