Coachella Valley Arsonist Pleads Guilty to 25 Counts

Coachella Valley Arsonist Pleads Guilty to 25 Counts


Coachella Valley Region

A man who set 25 structures and vehicles ablaze throughout the Coachella Valley over the course of 14 months pleaded guilty today to numerous counts of arson.

Luis Josue Perales, 23, was convicted Friday of setting 25 separate fires between Jan. 15, 2015 and March 31, 2016, including setting fire to three occupied buildings, two unoccupied buildings, six vehicles and several other miscellaneous pieces of property, including palm trees and dumpsters. Nineteen of the fires occurred in the city of Indio and nearby areas and six of the fires happened in Palm Springs.

Story: Security Guard Arrested for Series of Arson Fires Around The Valley

Perales pleaded guilty to 25 separate arson counts, plus one count of burglary for breaking into a home where one of the fires was set. He faces the possibility of more than 60 years in prison when he is sentenced June 16.

Perales also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of causing fires that burned multiple structures, using a device to accelerate the spread of the fires, and committing arson in areas where the state’s emergency drought regulations are under effect.

Story: Accused Arsonist Pleaded Not Guilty

County fire investigators, with assistance from the Palm Springs police and fire departments, arrested Perales on the morning of March 31, 2016 on South Palm Canyon Drive, according to Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.