Transient accused of torching palm, car tree in South San Gabriel

SOUTH SAN GABRIEL — A transient was arrested Wednesday for allegedly setting fire to a palm tree worth about $1,500.
Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the sheriff’s Temple Station said a vehicle was also burned, causing $3,000 in damages.
Detectives are checking if the man was behind another tree torching earlier. Both incidents happened in the unincorporated county area of South San Gabriel.
Somoano said a witness saw a man set a tree on fire in the 1400 block of Potrero Grande Drive at 4:48 p.m. The tree was located in front of a residence.
The witness gave deputies a description of the arsonist.
Deputies detained a man at Del Mar Avenue and Potrero Grande Drive.
Somoano said a 31-year-old transient was arrested on suspicion of arson. He was being held at the Temple station jail on a $50,000 bail.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Somoano didn’t name the suspect.
A similar incident happened at 3:30 pm in the 7800 block of Steddom Drive.
“A guy inside the house smells smoke, comes out to look and sees a tree on fire,” Somoano said.
Firefighters doused the tree fire.
No one has been arrested for the Steddom Drive fire.

– Ruby Gonzales

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