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Irvine apartment fire: Would-be thief targets evacuated home

This file photo shows Irvine police vehicles on Jan 9, 2013.

January 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A small fire broke out Wednesday night at an apartment complex in Irvine, and authorities said a would-be thief is on the run.

The fire happened around 8:30 p.m. at the leasing office of an apartment complex on the 2300 block of Dupont Drive.

Tenants evacuated as firefighters arrived. The fire was quickly extinguished and damage to the building was minimal.

When one man returned to his apartment, he found a would-be thief inside the home. The suspect pepper-sprayed the resident and fled. The man was treated at the scene and is expected to be OK. No one else was hurt.

The suspect was described as a heavy-set Hispanic man, about 6 feet tall with curly hair and a distinct mole on his face. He was wearing a leather jacket.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Irvine Police Department.