[UPDATED with Arrest:] Irvine Police Turn to Public to Find Men Wanted in Apartment Fire, Burglary and Assault
UPDATE, JAN. 25, 4:36 P.M.: Police have not only arrested Jose Jesus Baca Jr. for the attempted arson, burglary and assault in Irvine but of being responsible for a series of fires set primarily in Irvine and Fullerton apartment complexes to divert attention so units could be burglaried.
|Courtesy of OCDA|
|Jose Jesus Baca Jr.|
Between Dec. 18, 2012, and this past Sunday, the Santa Ana 36-year-old allegedly lit the fires and ran through residential areas yelling their was a fire to get occupants to flee so he could enter their homes and take personal items, including wallets and jewelry.
On Sunday, Baca allegedly lit a fire in the carport of a Fullerton apartment complex on North Associated Road, where he is accused of burglarizing at least one unit. But the fire spread to multiple units and more than $1 million in damage, according to the OCDA.
An investigation by Irvine and Fullerton police led to a hotel room in the latter city, where Baca was arrested Tuesday. With him was stolen property taken from his victims' homes and more than 10 grams of methamphetamine, prosecutors say.
Baca is charged with four felony counts of first degree residential burglary, three felony counts of arson of another's property, two felony counts of arson of an inhabited property, one felony count each of grand theft, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and receiving stolen property, with a sentencing enhancement for arson burning multiple structures.
A conviction could send him to prison for 18 years.
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