Jose Jesus Baca Jr., 36, is suspected of starting fires at two Orange County apartment complexes as distractions while he burglarized residences.
A four-alarm fire brought more than 30 fire engines to a carport at the Camden Apartments on Associated Road in Fullerton on Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m. Evidence pointed to arson. More than 10 apartment units were damaged.
During the fire, a female resident nearby chased a burglary suspect out of her apartment. Residents unsuccessfully attempted to detain the man. They gave authorities a detailed description of the suspect and the license plate number of his motorcycle.
A similar arson-burglary was perpetrated in Irvine on Jan. 9.
The Fullerton and Irvine police departments conducted a joint investigation to track down the suspect. Detectives located the suspect, Baca, at a hotel in Brea and arrested him on Jan. 22.
Baca was held at the Orange County Jail on charges of arson, burglary and possession of narcotics, on $1 million bond.