Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A 38-year-old man has been charged with arson after authorities say he set two fires in Berkeley and one in Oakland.

Berkeley police said, in court papers, that Julian Robinson had been identified as a potential suspect following a recent increase in arsons in South Berkeley. Oakland police arrested Robinson on Jan. 23 in that city. He has no listed home address in court papers that were available for review.

According to court papers, Robinson initially was arrested in connection with a fire in the lobby of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay St. in Oakland.

When Berkeley police detectives went to interview Robinson at Santa Rita Jail, authorities said he admitted to setting two other fires in Berkeley.

The fires in Berkeley involved a statue in remembrance of a Berkeley police officer who was killed in the line of duty, as well as a structure attached to a church that took place in the 1700 block of Alcatraz Avenue on Jan. 11.

Robinson was charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with one count of arson in connection with the Oakland case.

According to court papers, Robinson has numerous prior felony convictions, for burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of cocaine.

He is set for an attorney and plea hearing Feb. 8 at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, according to county jail records online.

Robinson remains in custody with a bail of $95,000.

Update, Jan. 31: BPD confirmed that the initial arson, at the memorial statue, took place Dec. 18 at 11:42 p.m. at the Berkeley police department Public Safety Building.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...