BURLEY — A man was charged in Cassia County with felony first-degree arson and grand theft after Cassia County Sheriff deputies said he started a fire in the bathroom of an agricultural chemical company and then stole a car from the parking lot.
Jose M. Vazquez Valenzuela, 24, was arrested Saturday after officers responded to a southeast address where a man said there was a man banging on the door and refusing to leave.
When officers arrived, they found Vazquez Valenzuela agitated and restless, court documents say.
Deputies said he was rocking in place and his speech was incoherent at times but there was no smell of alcohol on his body.
He was wearing a black jacket over blue coveralls, officers said, but he had no shirt underneath and he was not wearing any shoes, only a pair of socks with a hole at his left big toe.
The officers found a 2017 white Chevrolet Impala at the residence and Vazquez Valenzuela said it did not belong to him but that he had driven it.
The officers contacted the registered owner of the vehicle who said it had been stolen out of the parking lot at Tessenderlo Kerley, southwest of Burley, which manufactures agricultural chemicals.
Representatives at the business said Vazquez Valenzuela had also started a fire in the bathroom at the company’s scale house and removed light bulbs in the bathroom before stealing the car.
Deputies said people were in the building where the fire was started. Officers found burnt paper products on the floor of the bathroom adjacent to a wood door led to the office area. The door had significant charring, officers said.
They found a wet T-shirt and a green Walking Dead lighter, but they were not able to get fingerprints because the items were wet.
There were also footprints in the ash leading from the bathroom to the office. The footprints were consistent with someone wearing only socks with a hole in the left toe.
The company’s surveillance camera showed the car leaving, but the driver was not visible.
A preliminary hearing in the case is set at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 in Cassia County Magistrate Court.