Suspect Even Solicited An Acquaintance
SANTA CRUZ—Stop me if you have heard this one. Suspect gets served with an eviction notice, then takes out an insurance policy, then sets the place on fire. Sounds like a movie theme, right? Well, that theme was played out earlier this month in Santa Cruz. Authorities with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department and a Santa Cruz Fire Department Investigator arrested 34-year-old Annette Carranza for doing just that.
Early Monday Morning, September 29 at 4:15 am, the Santa Cruz Fire Department and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department were called to an apartment fire on 1300 block of 30th Avenue in Santa Cruz. Firefighters had to rescue two elderly residents who were trapped in an upstairs apartment. One firefighter was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
An investigation at the scene proved that the fire originated from Carranza’s apartment, where she lived with her three young children and two other adults. The fire had spread to five other units before it could be extinguished. It also rendered the apartment complex uninhabitable and displaced eleven tenants.
On October 7, after a lengthy investigation, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Investigators, along with the Santa Cruz Fire Investigator, arrested Carranza on arson charges. She had originally told deputies that the fire started accidentally after she had lit a candle and fell asleep.
“Investigators learned that a day after Carranza was served an eviction notice, she purchase fire insurance for the apartment.” Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sergeant Kelly Kent wrote in a press release, “She also solicited an acquaintance to set the fire.”
She had planned to pay the accomplice with the insurance settlement. Sheriff’s Detectives have charged her with aggravated arson and booked her into the Santa Cruz County jail.