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Citrus Heights police arrest arson suspects in Costco field fires

Jordan Williams, Randy Rath, arson fire, citrus heights
Two 19 year olds, Randy Rath, Left, and Jordan Williams, Right, were arrested on suspicion of setting fires in Citrus Heights on Sunday. Image courtesy, CHPD

Updated June 13, 5:58 p.m. —
Following multiple fires occurring early Sunday morning in field areas near Costco and elsewhere around the city, Citrus Heights police announced the arrest of two 19-year-old suspects. The arrests come after at least six separate fires were reported over the past month on Auburn Boulevard near Costco — several of which were determined by fire officials to be suspicious in nature.

Police said the two suspects, Randy Michael Rath and Jordan Dane Williams, were both arrested Sunday after officers assisted Metro Fire personnel in responding to several fires between midnight and 2 a.m. on Sunday. The first incident involved a portable toilet on fire at Tempo Park around 12:50 a.m., followed by a dumpster fire behind Safeway on Greenback Lane around 1:30 a.m.

At 1:43 a.m., police and fire crews responded to multiple fires in the 47-acre Stock Ranch Nature Preserve area behind Costco and Walmart on Auburn Boulevard. Police said officers were able to locate Rath and Williams after a security guard at Costco provided a description of two people he saw leaving the area during the time of the fires.

According to CHPD, “witness statements and physical evidence” gave fire investigators “probable cause to believe the two subjects were involved with and responsible” for the fires and justify their arrest. Both Rath and Williams are being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail on $50,000 bail and face multiple counts of arson to forestland and property.

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Metro Fire and CHPD are still investigating if the pair are responsible for other recent fires in the field areas around Costco, as well as fires in the green belt area between Sunrise Boulevard and Fair Oaks Boulevard. A fire on June 2 in the brush areas near Costco torched approximately three-quarters of an acre.

[Related: Another blaze torches brush area behind Costco; cause undetermined]

As previously reported on The Sentinel, fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of multiple fires occurring in the area behind Costco over the past few weeks, beginning with a trio of “suspicious” fires on May 18. Police said they are working with Metro Fire and the California Highway Patrol to locate anyone responsible for those fires.

According to Citrus Heights Police Department statistics, there were six arson fires in the city last year — down from 14 in 2013.

Anyone with information about the recent fires is asked to contact Metro Fire’s arson tip line at (916) 859-3775.







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