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Arson of Structure/Property

Post Date:01/05/2015 11:47 AM





(760) 256-2211

(760) 256-2215 (fax)





OFFENSES:                                     PC 451(c) - Arson of a Structure

                                                            PC 451(d) - Arson of Property  

CR NUMBERS:                               14-5020 / 14-5039


DATE OF CRIME:                           12/19/2014 and 12/20/2014


DATE OF PRESS RELEASE:      12/22/2014


VICTIMS:                                           Barstow Unified School District

Toms Mega Burgers


SUSPECTS:                                    16 Year Old Male Juvenile            


CASE AGENT:                                Detective Andrew Reyes, ID# D-60




On Friday, December 19, 2014, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Barstow Police Officers and members of the Barstow Fire Department were dispatched to the Barstow Intermediate School regarding a large structure fire. Upon arrival officers located the school fully engulfed in flames. Officer Ryan Hotchkiss interviewed several witnesses on scene who reported seeing four juveniles on the roof of the school. Witnesses saw the juveniles flee at the time the fire started. Officer Hotchkiss obtained descriptions of the juveniles and officers conducted a check of the area for the potential suspects, but were unable to locate them.


Barstow Fire Department extinguished the fire and a crime scene investigation was conducted. The investigation revealed that the fire was intentionally set.


On Saturday, December 20, 2014, at approximately 2:10 p.m., Officer Ryan Hotchkiss was dispatched to Tom’s Mega Burgers regarding a juvenile who had just lit a fire in the parking lot. The reporting party provided a description of the juvenile. Upon arrival officers located a 16 year old juvenile matching the description of the suspect and detained him. Further investigation revealed that a flammable liquid was used to start a fire in the parking lot of the business. The 16 year old juvenile was positively identified as the person who set the fire to the parking lot area of Tom’s Mega Burgers.


While conducting this investigation Officer Hotchkiss realized that the description of the 16 year old juvenile matched the description of one of the juveniles seen running away from the fire at the Barstow Intermediate School the day prior. Officer Hotchkiss contacted the witnesses from the Barstow Intermediate School fire and conducted an in-field show-up. The 16 year old juvenile was positively identified as one of the juveniles fleeing the scene of the Barstow Intermediate School fire.       


Detective Andrew Reyes responded to the scene and assumed the investigation of both suspected arsons, including an interview of the 16 year old juvenile. The juvenile admitted to starting both the fire at the Barstow Intermediate School and the fire at Tom’s Mega Burgers.


Due to evidence collected from both locations, witness interviews, and statements by the suspect, the 16 year old juvenile was booked at the Apple Valley Juvenile Detention Center for the listed charges.


Anyone having information regarding the fire investigations is asked to call Detective Andrew Reyes at (760)255-5183 or the Barstow Police Department at (760)256-2211.  Callers wishing to remain anonymous may also call the WE-TIP hotline at 1(800)78-CRIME.




Albert Ramirez Jr.                                                               

Chief of Police




Andrew Espinoza Jr.

Detective Sergeant

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