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El Cajon - Employee Sets Tow Yard On Fire And Steals Tow Truck


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On 12/14/21 at approximately 11:00pm, an employee of C & D Towing located at 301 Cypress Lane entered the business after-hours carrying a gas can. An employee was able to flee the building before the suspect poured what appeared to be gasoline inside an office and set the building on fire. The suspect then fled the scene in a flatbed C & D tow-truck, which he stole from the tow yard.


At the time of the arson, there were no employees or customers in the building and no one was injured as a result of the fire. The arson caused extensive damage to the building. The suspect in this case was identified as Burton Kanehailua, a tow truck driver for the company. Kanehailua, a resident of El Cajon, was last seen in a clearly marked C & D Towing flatbed tow truck, which is a 2016 Dodge Ram 5500. Kanehailua is also known to drive an older model white Volvo station wagon.


Police are actively searching for Kanehailua and the stolen C & D tow truck. This is an on-going investigation. The El Cajon Police Department is asking for the community’s help in solving this crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident or the whereabouts of Kanehailua are encouraged to call the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311 or San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or on-line at SDCRIMESTOPPERS.ORG.

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Worker accused of setting fire to El Cajon towing business arrested in New Mexico


EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) -- An employee accused of starting a fire at the El Cajon towing business he worked at was taken into custody by authorities in New Mexico.


El Cajon Police said 39-year-old Burton Kanehailua was in the New Mexico/Texas area on Thursday when he contacted ECPD arson investigators and told them he wished to turn himself in.


Kanehailua was taken into custody by Socorro Police in New Mexico, and El Cajon Police said the tow truck he allegedly stole was recovered.


Kanehailua is expected to be extradited back to San Diego County, and police indicated he would face charges of arson and auto theft.


Police alleged Kanehailua entered C&D Towing on the evening of Dec. 14 with a gas can and then “poured what appeared to be gasoline inside an office and set the building on fire.”


As the fire spread at the business, Kanehailua allegedly stole a company tow truck and drove away from the scene.


The suspect’s motive in the arson case remains unclear.


No injuries were reported from the fire.

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