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Visalia husband and wife set cars on fire while stealing gas, police say

A husband and wife pair wreaked havoc in the parking lot of a South Valley hotel. Visalia police say they were trying to steal gas, but instead set a number of cars on fire.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
A husband and wife pair wreaked havoc in the parking lot of a South Valley hotel. Visalia police say they were trying to steal gas, but instead set a number of cars on fire.

Hotel guests woke up to flames, shooting out of parked cars at the Holiday Inn on airport drive. Police say the culprits Anthony and Lisa Valencia, were using drill bits to steal gasoline out of the cars. Instead, five cars caught on fire.

Visalia Police Sergeant Damon Maurice said, "the suspects were crawling underneath vehicles using the drill bit to drill into the gas tanks once it started to leak gas they put it into a container."

One car was completely totaled, and four others were damaged. The hotel manager says the victims are carpoolers, not guests of the hotel.

Sgt. Maurice said, "not only is it a crime and you're causing damage to other people's property it's very dangerous as well."

The duo had also gone to other parking lots around town, but got caught when surveillance images surfaced. They may have gotten away with it, were it not for the fiery combination of a hot drill bit, and gasoline.

The couple is facing arson and drug charges among other crimes. Police say they're also suspected of similar crimes in both Kings and Tulare counties.



Related Topics:
news tulare county crimetracker fire gas theft Visalia
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