General Crime

* Brent Robert Kastroff Charged with Alleged Arson in Lafayette

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A Walnut Creek man who was arrested last week on suspicion of lighting several fires near his Rossmoor home has been charged with three counts of arson, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Brent Robert Kastroff, 62, was arrested Friday and has been charged with the arson counts plus enhancements, including for having two prior arson convictions, prosecutors said.  Fire investigators first learned of the fires on a 90-acre, grassy property containing three homes on Vista Del Valle in Lafayette in January.

The land is adjacent to the Rossmoor senior community, authorities said.  While looking into those blazes, investigators learned of a similar fire on the same property last May that went unreported.  Last month, a third blaze was reported there, and witness reports led investigators to Kastroff, fire officials said. The 62-year-old was previously arrested in 1998 for setting fire to papers in a trashcan in San Rafael, fire investigators said.

Fire officials said Kastroff admitted to starting the Lafayette blazes but said he merely lit some pieces of paper on fire, which sparked the grass fires.  Investigators said Kastroff told them he did not believe he had done anything wrong.  Kastroff is set to appear in Contra Costa County Superior Court to enter a plea on April 19.

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