Hughson Police Services deputies arrested a 35-year-old Hughson man for arson on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 25, saying he was responsible for a rash of nine trash can, dumpster and oleander vegetation fires.
The fires primarily took place between Oct. 15 and Oct. 24 along Hughson and Santa Fe avenues and included oleander vegetation piles and trash receptacles near businesses and other structures. One fire had threatened one commercial building until a patrol deputy kicked the engulfed trash can away from the outer wall of the structure.
Deputies identified Kevin Stalnacker, who was on felony probation, as the arsonist. Surveillance video images showed the man committing the crime was wearing distinctive articles of clothing which were recovered during a search warrant executed at his home. He reportedly made incriminating comments to investigators, putting him in the area at the time of some of the fires.
Stalnacker’s arrest came Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 25, when investigators served the search warrant. Expecting that he would try to flee, deputies were waiting for him at the back of the house. When he did run out the back door he was promptly arrested.
A search of the home yielded several pieces of evidence linking him to the fires, a Hughson Police Services press release stated.
Stalnacker was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on three counts of arson; one count of misdemeanor delaying, obstructing or resisting a peace officer; and violating the terms of his felony probation.
Assisting in the investigation were the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s and Probation departments, the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigations Unit, Hughson Fire Department and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office who provides two investigators to the FIU unit.