Recently, two women were arrested after an investigation into an alleged arson that occurred on April 2nd in Riverside. The suspects, D. Nunez and M. Garcia were charged with numerous offenses, including several arson charges, possession of explosives, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of a controlled substance, and more.
The two women are believed to have helped a male suspect, C. Orta, who was recently arrested on several arson violations (and other charges) in connection with a car that was lit on fire on Atlanta Ave. on April 2nd.
After emergency personnel were able to put out the car fire, a red gas can with wires attached was discovered. The bomb squad was called in to check it out and found that it was part of an incendiary device likely used to set the vehicle ablaze. Orta was the first suspect arrested, with his apprehension coming six days after the incident. During a search of his vehicle, officers found firearms, bomb-making materials, and more.
Law enforcement is still investigating the incident and are asking anyone with information to contact Detective James Dana at 951-351-6404.
Arson is covered under California Penal Code 451 PC and is described as willfully and maliciously sets fire to, burns, or causes to be burned, or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of any structure, forest land, or property. Basically, if you had anything to do with the willful and malicious setting alight of anything, you might be guilty of arson.
Violations of California Penal Code 451 PC are charged as felonies. However, the specific penalties a defendant faces will depend on what was burned and whether or not anyone was injured. If the property burned was personal property, 16 months to 3 years in prison is the penalty. You face two, four, or six years if the property burned was a structure or forest land, and five to nine years if someone suffers great bodily injury as a result of the arson.