Man set fires as a diversion to steal from fire stations, prosecutors say

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This Dec. 18, 2016, photo released by the Orange County Fire Authority shows a vehicle that was set on fire in Santa Ana, Calif., the morning Orange County Fire Authority station 72 was burglarized. Christian Saddler, a man already in prison for arson, is facing new charges that he set fires as a diversion to burglarize fire stations in Southern California. The Orange County Fire Authority Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, announced new charges against Saddler, a one-time member of San Bernardino County’s Fire Explorer program. (Orange County Fire Authority via AP)

IRVINE, California (AP) — A man already in prison for arson is facing new charges that he set fires as a diversion to burglarize fire stations in Southern California.

Prosecutors allege that 21-year-old Christian Saddler of Hesperia caused more than $5 million in damage. Authorities say Saddler set fires to divert crews in order to steal cash and personal items from Orange County stations.

This undated photo provided by the Orange County Fire Authority shows suspect, Christian Saddler, of Hesperia, Calif. Saddler, already in prison for arson, is facing new charges that he set fires as a diversion to burglarize fire stations in Southern California. The Orange County Fire Authority Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 announced new charges against Saddler, a one-time member of San Bernardino County’s Fire Explorer program. (Orange County Fire Authority via AP)

The Orange County Fire Authority Tuesday announced new charges against Saddler, a one-time member of San Bernardino County’s Fire Explorer program.

Authorities say they suspect Saddler also set fires in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties. Saddler currently is serving five years for arson and burglary involving other cases.

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