Suspect Charged with Two Counts of Arson in Rash of Brawley Blazes

BRAWLEY- A 20-year-old Brawley resident identified as a suspect and arrested, following seven local fires.

Fires were set in a number of alleyways in Brawley, like this one behind B Street

On Wednesday  April 24, a series of seven suspicious trash and trash bin fires popped up around the city of Brawley. The Brawley Police Department reported that the first series of three fires were located in the south alley of the 100 block of B Street, in the south alley of the 900 block of J Street, and in the south alley of the 200 block of C Street, occurring between 1:55 PM and 2:05 PM.  These fires were followed by another four fires between 7:20 PM and 8:00 PM. The second series of suspicious blazes occurred in the 600 block of North Seventh Street, the north as well as the south alley of the 500 block of Main Street and the south alley of the 900 block of J Street. All the fires were rapidly extinguished and caused no structure damage.

Another fire was set in the C Street Alley, which is near Westmorland Union Elementary School.

Using video evidence from the second series of fires, investigators believed they captured a photograph of an arson suspect riding a bicycle in the 1500 block of I Street. On Thursday, April 25, an officer noted a person matching the description of the suspect and detained him. While the officer questioned the suspect, a fire was reported burning nearby. Fernando Elenin Garcia, a 20-year-old Brawley resident was placed under arrest.

After the second series of alley fires, including one at the J Street Alley, video surveillance helped identify Garcia as a suspect.

In the previous week, four teenagers were arrested after being suspected as the arsonists responsible for setting a furniture store alight and potentially several other downtown fires.  Brawley officials are hoping that the recent spate of fires is over, but according the Imperial Valley Press, locals feel that more blazes are likely to occur.

Garcia was charged with two counts of arson and on May 4 had a short pre-trial hearing.  Another pre-trial hearing and a preliminary hearing are set to take place this week.

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Imperial Valley Press: Suspect arrested following series of suspicious fires week after teen arson arrests

Suspect Charged with Two Counts of Arson in Rash of Brawley Blazes was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
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Rebecca O'Connor

Rebecca K. O’Connor is a freelance writer, copywriter and author of several books in addition to her work with United Reporting. She blogs for National Geographic as well as her own sites and is always looking for the next great story.