Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - Police announced the capture of a man who admitted to most recently igniting a destructive fire behind a Walmart.
Jose Javier Salgado, 39, was located at Azusa Avenue and Arrow Highway after three suspicious fires were set. He reportedly admitted to setting the fire at Walmart, according to the Covina Police Department.
Salgado was placed on a psychiatric hold, Covina Police said.
Firefighters were sent to the first blaze behind the Covina Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Ave., at 10:36 p.m. April 15. Firefighters finally knocked down the blaze at 11 PM, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.
Cardboard, wood pallets and a forklift burned in the Walmart fire which forced the evacuation of those within, but no injuries were reported, Covina Police said.
At 11:34 PM, firefighters were dispatched to a dumpster fire behind Pupuseria Mi Salvador, 474 E. Arrow Hwy. A third fire was ignited at Hollenbeck Park, 1250 N. Hollenbeck Ave. Firefighters were dispatched at 11:48 p.m. to a dumpster fire, Pitman told SGV CityWatch.
Salgado is suspected in setting fires April 4 at Covina’s Guitar Center, the Covina Bowl, Walmart, Ross and Loan Max, Covina Police said. Salgado is also accused of igniting a fire in the area of Newburgh Street and Azusa Avenue.
Azusa Police captures Salgado after the Newburgh fire, was arrested and placed on a psychiatric hold, Covina Police said.
Anyone with information on these fires is urged to call Covina Police Department Detective K. Hulsey 626-384-5616, or LA Regional Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Refer to Covina PD Incident #20-10369, 20- 10375, and 20-10376.
Covina Police Chief John Curley issued a scathing statement via social media Thursday detailing the failure of the California justice system to keep criminals behind bars:
“10 arson fires in less than 2 weeks and unfortunately in California, “serial arson” is not considered “VIOLENT”....just like human trafficking of a child, rape by intoxication, and many others. Disgraceful to our community,” Curley said.