Transient accused of setting fires |

Transient accused of setting fires

Two fires were set in the early hours of Thursday morning that destroyed a car and caused damage to facilities at Truckee River Regional Park.

At 5 a.m. on Thursday Truckee Police and the Truckee Fire Protection District responded to a car fire in an industrial area on West River Street. A Subaru station wagon completely destroyed by the fire, and a nearby car was also damaged.

A witness reported seeing a white male fleeing the area on a bicycle, and while officers were at the scene a citizen reported to them that his bicycle had been stolen from the same area.

At 8 a.m. police received another call about a suspicious fire that was extinguished inside of a bathroom at Truckee River Regional Park. Some debris had apparently been lit on fire, but burned out before causing major damage.

“It appears that [the suspect] just went in there to stay warm and lit a little fire; there wasn’t much damage, and it took an hour to clean it all up,” said Steve Randall, general manager of the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District.

Two hours later, the California Highway Patrol found a man lying next to a bicycle off of Highway 267 at Martis Flats.

Through investigation, Truckee officers linked the man, Sean David McDonald, a 20-year-old transient who resides in Truckee, to both fires and the theft of the bike, which was recovered.

McDonald was booked on two counts of arson and one count of possession of stolen property and is currently being held in the Nevada County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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