4 arrested on looting charges at Lake County fire site

4 arrested on looting charges at Lake County fire site

A 69 year old man whose home in Anderson Springs was destroyed by the fire was said to be missing by his family, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. Leonard Neft, a former police reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, last spoke with his family on Saturday evening as the fire raced through Anderson Springs. Wednesday September 16, 2015 in Anderson Springs, Calif. The fire that sped through Middletown and other parts of rural Lake County, less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, has continued to burn since Saturday despite a massive firefighting effort.

[ Retired journalist, composer among 5 dead in Northern California fires]

Three men from the Bay Area were arrested after entering the Valley fire zone, allegedly with the intent to loot homes. Thursday stopped a pickup with the men inside.

The deputy asked why they were in the area but their explanation did not seem truthful. The deputy, who surmised they didn’t know their way around Lake County, began a search when he smelled marijuana coming from the pickup.quello che è un løft

One passenger, David Michael Cesari, 23, of San Francisco, had an ammunition magazine in his front jacket pocket and a handgun tucked in at his waistline at the small of his back, deputies said. The deputy’s search of the truck turned up a face mask, three pairs of gloves, tools, duct tape, zip ties, key rings with keys, headlamps, flashlights, binoculars, empty bags and large knives.

The deputy noticed the wheel wells of the truck were caked with mud, indicating that the trio, dressed in black or camouflage print clothes, might have gone overland to circumvent road closures set up to protect homes in the fire zone.

A similar truck with a camper shell, suspected of being driven by burglars, had been spotted the night before in the community of Cobb. Cesari was arrested on gun, burglary and entering a closed disaster area charges. His friends, Dyami Gene Connell, 23, and Michael James Jimenez, 28, both of Brisbane, were arrested on suspicion of entering a closed disaster area and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Meanwhile, state Attorney General Kamala Harris warned of price gouging in the disaster area of Lake County. Hotels have reportedly been raising their prices during the wildfires.

California’s price gouging statute becomes effective once the governor declares a state of emergency, which occurred for both the Butte and Valley fires. The law prohibits charging a price that is 10 percent more than the price of the item before an emergency declaration.


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