Photo: Lisa Nicole St. Onge and Milan Popich
CONCORD — Investigators from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) arrested two suspects for setting vehicles on fire. These arrests involve three vehicle fires that occurred on August 20.
The first vehicle fire occurred at 10 a.m. on Auto Center Drive in Antioch. Con Fire investigators examined the fire scene and reviewed surveillance camera videos, and determined it was intentionally set.
Later the same day, Antioch police detained four suspects, and Con Fire arrested an Antioch resident, Lisa Nicole St. Onge. Antioch police transported St. Onge to the Martinez Detention Facility, where she was booked.
Two more vehicle fires occurred in Martinez at 6:30 p.m., on the shoulder of westbound Highway 4. Investigators examining evidence concluded both vehicles were intentionally set ablaze.
In this instance, a man who exited from one of the burned vehicles was detained by a California Highway Patrol officer. The suspect believed responsible for setting these vehicle fires is Milan Popich, 39 of San Ramon.
After reviewing evidence at the scene, a Con Fire investigator arrested Popich. The CHP officer at the scene assisted by transporting Popich to the Martinez Detention Facility, where he was also booked.
The fire chief at Con Fire Lewis T. Broschard said in a prepared statement. “This is a tremendous example of coordination and partnerships between fire and law enforcement. Quick work of our fire investigators in close partnership with law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of two dangerous arsonists.”
St. Onge faces one count of arson, while Popich faces two counts of arson. In addition, Popich was also booked for possession of drug paraphernalia. Both suspects are no longer in custody.
Interestingly, St. Onge has three prior arrests for vehicle thefts this year in May and July, and December last year.