ALPINE, Calif. — A man caught looting homes vacated during the West Fire in Alpine in July has been convicted of breaking into one home and trying to get into a second one.
Ardian Iseni, 30, faces up to seven years, four months in state prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 26, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
The 500-acre West fire broke out July 6, south of Interstate 8 between West Willows Road and Alpine Boulevard. Flames destroyed 34 homes and 21 other buildings and damaged another 20 homes and buildings.
Iseni was arrested the next day, while some evacuation orders were being lifted. He was already on probation for an earlier East County burglary, Deputy District Attorney Shane Waller said.
On July 8, a resident posted a notice on the Alpine Community Network website that she caught had a looter on Sage View Drive. He had a tote bag with jewelry in it, the unsigned notice said.
“I caught him entering a home but got him BEFORE he got in. He had just opened the door. So the jewelry is from other homes in our area,” the resident wrote. Waller confirmed that a neighbor saw Iseni peering into the window and jiggling the doorknob of a home, while carrying a woman’s purse.
A three-day trial last week ended Friday with a jury finding Iseni guilty of one count each of residential burglary and attempted burglary.
Waller said Iseni will be sentenced next month for the Alpine looting case and the probation violation.