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A bogus marijuana deal led to a standoff outside a home that caught fire Friday, a Vallejo police sergeant said today. A 37-year-old Redding man and a 42-year-old Cottonwood man arranged over the Internet to buy marijuana, Sgt. Jeff Bassett said. Instead, the men were robbed of cash and beaten by six armed suspects at an apartment complex at 1333 North Camino Alto around 1:15 p.m. Friday, Bassett said. Both men were hospitalized with head wounds and are not cooperating with police, Bassett said. The armed suspects fled the apartment complex in a green sedan with chrome rims to 1041 Castlewood Drive, Lt. Lee Horton said.
A Vallejo police officer in an unmarked vehicle followed the suspects to the residence around 1:40 p.m., Bassett said. Responding officers used a public address system to try to contact the people inside but received no response, Horton said. A SWAT team comprised of Vallejo and Benicia officers and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team also responded and fired non-flammable, non-incendiary gas into the residence around 5:15 p.m., Horton said. As officers waited for the suspects to leave the house they heard what sounded like gunshots inside the house and saw smoke coming through the roof, Horton said.
The Vallejo Fire Department, which also was at the scene, extinguished the blaze and officers checking the residence found no one inside, Horton said. Bassett said the six suspects likely fled before police set up a perimeter around the residence. The burned residence is linked to at least one of the suspects and the green vehicle, Bassett said. The cause of the fire, which killed a dog, is still under investigation, Bassett said. The residence is intact but the interior was badly burned, he said.
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