A Hesperia man who was identified as a serial arsonist who caused over $5 million in damage in order to burglarize fire departments Is already behind bars, fire officials said.
Christian David Saddler, 21, of Hesperia is familiar with the inner workings of the fire departments due to being a former San Bernardino County Fire Explorer. Saddler is accused of starting fires in order to divert the fire fighters out of the station to fight the fire while he burglarized the station. It is believed that he is responsible for fires and burglaries in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties. Saddler was taken in custody on July 22, 2019, and is serving a 5-year prison sentence for arson and burglary charges.
The Orange County Fire Authority first learned of Saddler when he was arrested for a similar crime spree in January 2017, in the City of Norco. Cal Fire sent out a bulletin announcing the arrest. Diligent investigative efforts for over two years by the Orange County Fire Authority, Irvine Police, Santa Ana Police, Anaheim Fire, Anaheim Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and Cal Fire led to the identification of Saddler as the suspect.
Fire officials said that no one was injured as a result of the intentionally set fires. Saddler faces nine felony counts of arson and burglary crimes that occurred in Orange County in December 2016. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and is scheduled to appear at the Orange County Superior Court on September 11, 2019.
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