Photo: Rodney Rushing
SAN LEANDRO — A suspect detained by security guards for shoplifting was arrested by police for arson. Officers dispatched to handle a shoplifting incident recognized the man as the same suspect being sought for arson.
On October 8th a fire was intentionally set at Ana Rosa’s Mexican Restaurant, located at 2089 East 14th Street. Flames and smoke began pouring out from a restroom at approximately 6:20 p.m.
Shortly before the fire, a restaurant employee gave the suspect permission to use the restroom. Immediately after the man left the restaurant, several employees realized the restroom was on fire, and evacuated everyone.
During the arson investigation that followed, police reviewed surveillance video. It showed the suspect entering and exiting from the restroom during the time of the fire.
Authorities in nearby cities were notified with a description of the suspect. Thereafter the case remained cold, until San Leandro officers responded to a call about shoplifting on November 23rd.
With the video of the arson suspect still fresh in their minds, officers recognized the suspect detained at the store. Furthermore, he matched descriptions provided restaurant workers.
When questioned by detectives, police said the man admitted that he was inside the restroom when the fire started. Notwithstanding, the man insisted that he didn’t know how the fire happened.
Meanwhile, the suspect identified as Rodney Rushing, 32 of San Leandro, remains in county jail. Rushing is facing charges for arson, and petty theft. His bail was set at $75,000. His next court date is December 3.