Maltby Street of Dreams arson remains unsolved

  • By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
  • Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

MALTBY — An arson that laid waste to several luxury homes on the Street of Dreams three years ago today remains unsolved, federal authorities said.

The predawn blaze at the Quinn’s Crossing development near Highway 522 destroyed three homes and damaged two others, causing an estimated $7 million loss. A banner at the crime scene with the initials “E.L.F.” led investigators to suspect the Earth Liberation Front, a band of environmental terrorists responsible for setting many blazes in the West.

Federal authorities have made no arrests and remained quiet about any progress toward solving the arson or linking it to other acts of sabotage.

“Ongoing investigation — no further information for disclosure at this time,” FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt reported by e-mail. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also is investigating.

The Quinn’s Crossing project was promoted as environmentally friendly. When built out, it was intended to be part of a neighborhood of 48 homes on 115 acres.

The venture was controversial because of its location in a largely rural area just north of the Paradise Valley Conservation Area. Neighbors from the Echo Lake and Paradise Lake areas also worried about the project’s effect on local drinking-water supplies.

Other unsolved crimes in the area have borne similar hallmarks.

Authorities investigating a 2006 arson of a luxury home under construction on Camano Island found a banner claiming ELF responsibility.

Ecoterrorists also are suspected in the September 2009 toppling of two towers belonging to Everett’s KRKO radio (1380 AM). A sign with the initials ELF was found nearby. That same month, graffiti on buildings in a Maltby business park appeared to threaten the Master Builders and KRKO.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Call the FBI

Anyone with information about the Street of Dreams arson is asked to call the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at 206-622-0460 or e-mail seattle@fbi.gov.

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