An evidence building of the Hemet, CA police department burned this week in a case of suspected arson. According to the LA Times, the fire was reported in the early morning hours in a building across the street from the main police station. This marks the seventh attack on Hemet police this year.
No arrests have been made in the suspected arson and no details have been disclosed on how the fire may have been started. The building in question holds evidence for many criminal cases. It sustained “significant damage” to the roof and other areas.
The string of odd attacks on Hemet police began in January when a natural gas line was found directed into the offices of the Valley Gang Task Force. Although the gas wasn’t ignited, it could have been disastrous if not caught.
February say an officer shot with a booby trapped “zip gun” when he opened a gate. In March, the vehicle of a gang officer’s vehicle was tampered with and a “suspicious device” attached. Also in March four city code-enforcement trucks were set on fire in a Hemet city lot.
There’s evidence the attacks on police may be related to a white supremacy gang in the area. A reward has been offered for information leading to arrests in the incidences.
Though arson is a property destruction charge somewhat similar to a graffiti charge, the offense and consequences are much more serious. Even if the fire takes place in an uninhabited building, you could serve up to 6 years in prison. If someone is in the building, that potential sentence could be even more.
The potential for a fire to take lives and spread to other buildings is great. This is likely part of the reason that arson penalties are so harsh. When you consider this particular arson to have been committed against the police, the suspect will be facing a harsh wakeup call if and when they are caught.
Not all property crimes are simple misdemeanors. Depending on the circumstances of the offense and the amount of damage incurred, you could face very serious penalties for these sort of criminal violations.
Whether you are facing something like vandalism charges or something as serious as arson, call us today. Our attorneys can give you a free consultation on your case and assist you in coming up with a plan of action.