Suspect arrested after 3 Maricopa County vehicles burned in fire
By FOX 10 News Staff
Gustavo Hernandez during an arrest on July 13
MESA, Ariz. -
A man has been arrested, accused of torching three Maricopa County vehicles at a county maintenance yard in Mesa early Tuesday morning.
A sheriff's spokesman says deputies at a nearby facility heard the car alarms, observed the fire, and called the Fire Department about 4 a.m.
"Our district patrol station is about a block away from here so our response time was about 10 seconds," said MCSO spokesman Joaquin Enriquez.
25-year-old Gustavo Hernandez was detained at the scene. He apparently used road flares to start the fires.
Hernandez allegedly admitted to the crime.
The burned vehicles included a sheriff's SUV and three vehicles used by other county agencies. The sheriff's SUV costs about $50,000.
The gates to the facility were supposed to be locked, so detectives are trying to figure out how Hernandez got inside.
How did he get the flares?
"We are assuming at this point that he actually got the flares from one of the vehicles in the yard, that is why we are thinking he broke into the sheriff's office vehicle, and then went on his flare starting rampage," said Enriquez.
Hernandez has two prior arrests: for a DUI warrant in May and for allegedly inhaling toxic vapors in July.