Friday, July 12, 2024


Police have a suspect in an Aug. 28 suspicious fire on Brookline Street.

Christopher Gropper, 48, of 240 Albany St., a homeless shelter, was arrested Saturday and charged on warrants out of Cambridge District Court for malicious destruction of property worth more than $250 and for burning or aiding in the burning of property.

Police became involved at about 3:40 p.m. Aug. 28 when helping the Fire Department on a report of a suspicious fire set beside a building on Brookline Street. The fire was set inside two plastic recycling/trash receptacles sitting against a wooden fence, which caught fire, police spokesman Daniel Riviello said. No one was hurt.

Investigators reviewed video from the scene, identified a suspect and got a warrant for his arrest, Riviello said.

Officers on patrol outside Central Square spotted the suspect Saturday and arrested him.

Gropper was also arrested March 4 by Cambridge police on another warrant out of Cambridge District Court for malicious destruction of property worth more than $250, and the MIT Crime Club log shows an earlier arrest with Karolann Mary Hilliard, 38, of the same address, on charges of drug distribution, a school zone violation and conspiracy to violate drug laws. The report says they were caught doing a drug transaction.

Police continue to investigate other suspicious fires throughout Cambridge.

On Sunday officers arrested Nicolas Baker, 25, of Guilford, Vt., after he was identified by witnesses as being the man who stabbed a 20-year-old man repeatedly in what may be a violent case of mistaken identity. The Cambridge Chronicle describes the details of the stabbing in JFK Park and subsequent arrest here.

Anyone with information on the crimes or suspects is asked to call Cambridge Police at (617) 349-3300. Anonymous reports can be left at (617) 349-3359; sent by text message to 84741 (begin your text with TIP650, then type your message); or by email by visiting