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PC 451(b) - Arson

Post Date:09/22/2016 11:29 AM




(760) 255-5182

(760) 255-2025 (fax)





DATE:                              September 22, 2016                                                 


     OFFENSE:                         451(b) PC – Arson


CR NUMBER:                   16-4103


DATE OF INCIDENT:        September 21, 2016


SUSPECT:                       12-Year-Old Hispanic Male Juvenile


CASE AGENT                   Detective Keith Libby



On September 21, 2016, at approximately 1:59 P.M., the Barstow Police Department Dispatch center received a call regarding a fire inside Wal-Mart, located at 621 Montara Road. Several employees of Wal-Mart attempted to extinguish the fire using fire extinguishers however, they were unsuccessful. Barstow Police Officers and Barstow Fire Protection District Firefighters responded to the scene.  


An immediate evacuation of the store was conducted and paramedics treated several people for smoke inhalation related injuries. Barstow Fire Protection District extinguished the fire inside Wal-Mart.     


The preliminary investigation revealed that the fire originated in the arts and crafts section of the store and that the fire was intentionally set. Barstow Police Department Detectives responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. A Detective from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Arson and Bomb Unit responded to the scene and determined that the fire was arson. 


Detectives processed the scene, interviewed witnesses, and reviewed the Wal-Mart surveillance footage. Detectives were able to identify the possible arson suspect on the surveillance video. The suspect appeared to be a young Hispanic male juvenile, wearing a green tee-shirt with distinctive markings, and black pants. The juvenile suspect was captured on video leaving Wal-Mart riding a push scooter and wearing a backpack.


Detectives began an area search for the arson suspect. During the area search detectives located a young male juvenile, matching the description of the arson suspect, on Rimrock Road and Opal Street. The male juvenile was riding a push scooter and wearing the same clothing depicted in the Wal-Mart surveillance video. Detectives contacted the male juvenile and positively identified him as the same subject in the Wal-Mart video. During the contact detectives obtained additional evidence linking the juvenile to the arson at Wal-Mart.


The male juvenile was placed under arrest and transported to the Barstow Police Department where his parents were notified.


The male juvenile was subsequently transported to the High Desert Juvenile Detention Center in Apple Valley, California, and booked for PC 451(b)- Arson.


Wal-Mart representatives estimated the loss from the fire to be in excess of $1,000,000.


Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Detective Keith Libby at 760-255-5134 or the Barstow Police Department at (760) 256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous may also report criminal activity by calling the WE-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at 



Albert S. Ramirez Jr.                                 

Chief of Police



Andrew Espinoza Jr.

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