Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
TRANSIENT CHARGED WITH ARSON FOR
SETTING FIVE DUMPSTER FIRES IN SANTA ANA
*The investigation is ongoing
SANTA ANA – A transient has been charged with setting five fires on three occasions in dumpsters located behind a Santa Ana retailer and fast food chain. Tommy Wayne Burke, 40, is charged with five felony counts of arson of another’s property and has a 1990 prior strike conviction for second degree robbery. Burke faces a maximum sentence of 16 years and four months in state prison if convicted. The People will be requesting $250,000 bail at his arraignment tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
At approximately 11:00 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2010, Burke is accused of setting two fires in dumpsters located behind a Ross store on South Bristol Street in Santa Ana. One week later, on Feb. 18, 2010, Burke is accused of returning to the same location at the same time and again setting two fires in dumpsters behind the store. The defendant is accused of fleeing the scene in both instances. These arsons were captured by video surveillance.
At approximately 1:20 a.m. on Feb. 23, 2010, Burke is accused of setting a fire in a dumpster behind a KFC fast food restaurant. Responding officers from the Santa Ana Police Department observed and arrested the defendant walking away from the scene. At the time of his arrest, Burke is accused of being in possession of a lighter.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.