How the FBI used a peace sign tattoo, Etsy to track down arson suspect

Thousands of people rioting, thousands of images captured on camera, and one distinct T-shirt leading federal investigators to make an arrest.

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, 33, is charged with two counts of arson for allegedly setting fire to two police vehicles on May 30 near city hall.

"I just think it is great police work and it happened I think very quickly," retired special agent J.J. Klaver told FOX 29.

He adds FBI agents employed old-fashioned detective work in a digital realm. 

READ MORE: Feds charge Philadelphia woman with torching police cruisers during riots

The visual evidence led them to the woman wearing a Blue T-shirt with the text: "KEEP THE IMMIGRANTS, DEPORT THE RACISTS." Investigators say they found the same shirt on the website Etsy with a recent review from a woman they believe to be Blumenthal.  

The Etsy account led agents to Blumenthal’s Poshmark account, then to her LinkedIn account, and to her place of employment.

Scrolling through our FOX 29 footage from May 30, FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce stumbled upon a shot of a woman matching Blumenthal’s description, same colored T-shirt, greenish-brown backpack, tattoos on her right arm, standing in front of a fully engulfed police vehicle—one of two fires she’s now federally charged with setting.

Blumenthal’s attorney Paul Hetznecker released the following statement to FOX 29:

"It is too early to comment on the facts of the case as I have not received the discovery. But the discretionary decision by the federal government to charge my client with federal charges was a political decision. This case, like the other 650 cases charged in state court by local authorities during the time period of the protests, should have remained in state court. How many times does the federal government charge an individual for allegedly burning a vehicle. Never! By charging my client federally and pursuing an enhanced penalty under federal law the government has selected my client in order to send a political statement regarding those involved in this protest movement for racial justice. This is not a coincidence."   


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