A Santa Rosa man was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for three residential burglaries and three arsons in Santa Rosa in 2012. Andy Ruben Navarro, 51, pleaded no contest on Sept. 26 to the arson and burglary charges and to receiving stolen property and being a felon in possession of a gun. The first residential burglary and arson was at a Hopper Avenue residence on April 20, 2012.
The fire originated in the master bedroom, and the homeowner noticed several items were missing, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office said. On May 19, residents returned to their home on Banyan Place to find the master bedroom in flames. Items were missing and the home was burglarized again the next day, the district attorney’s office said. A fire on July 10 on Fulton Road in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County west of Santa Rosa started when a rug was placed on a kitchen stove and all the burners were in the “on” position, the district attorney’s office said.
The homeowner found a paper bag containing a beer can and contacted the sheriff’s office two days later. Investigators got video from a local store showing Navarro buying the same brand and sized beer can and DNA on the can linked Navarro to the arson and burglary, the district attorney’s office said. Navarro was arrested at his home on Coffee Meadow Place in Santa Rosa located near the arsons.
Items taken from the three homes and from other burglaries in 2011 and 2012 were found inside Navarro’s home, the district attorney’s office said. During the court proceedings Navarro was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and he was placed in Napa State Hospital on Aug. 13, 2013. He was found mentally competent in July. Deputy District Attorney Tashawn Sanders prosecuted the case.
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