SAN DIEGO (CNS) – An El Cajon tow yard worker who allegedly set fire to his workplace, then stole a flatbed truck from the business and fled in it, was in custody Friday following his arrest in New Mexico, authorities reported.
Burton Kanehailue, 39, contacted the El Cajon Police Department on Thursday and told investigators he wanted to surrender in connection with the non-injury arson fire, El Cajon police Lt. Randy Soulard said.
Kanehailue was subsequently taken into custody by police in the city of Socorro, about 75 miles south of Albuquerque, according to the lieutenant.
Authorities had been on the lookout for Kanehailue since late Tuesday, when he allegedly torched the offices of C&D Towing on Cypress Lane in El Cajon.
The suspect allegedly entered the business, which was closed for the day, about 11 o’clock that night, doused it with what is believed to have been gasoline and ignited the liquid.
Another employee who happened be there at the time was able to safely escape the building after it became engulfed in flames, Soulard said.
As the blaze spread, Kanehailue allegedly fled in a 2016 Dodge Ram 5500 tow truck owned by the company.
He was being held in a New Mexico jail pending extradition to California, where he is expected to face charges of arson and auto theft, Soulard said.
The stolen flatbed has been recovered, according to police.
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