A California man charged with burning down a Home Depot set the fire as a distraction so he could steal some tools, authorities say.
Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue, 27, on Wednesday was charged with aggravated arson, seven counts of grand theft and three counts of petty theft, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. The charges stem from a June 8th incident in which Gogue is accused of lighting a fire in an aisle of the store so he could slip out with a shopping cart filled with tools, police say. However, the fire spread quickly and sent "employees and customers running for their lives,” says Santa Clara County D.A. Jeff Rosen.
The blaze -- which took more than 12 hours to extinguish -- destroyed the 98,827-square-foot store, resulting in losses totaling more than $17 million, Rosen says. "Miraculously, no one was hurt in this five-alarm fire that was so hot and so large that it could be detected from a satellite in space," Rosen says. "But it came close, far, far too close, to causing many injuries and deaths."
Police describe Gogue as a chronic thief who stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from stores, sometimes revisiting the same stores more than once!!
Police documents indicate he stole 45 pairs of Levi’s jeans from Kohl’s, a keyboard and guitar from Guitar Center, and 14 pairs of sunglasses from a Sunglass Hut in the last few weeks leading up to the fire.
I'm sure somewhere someone is shouting from the rooftops HE'S THE VICTIM 🥴😂
photo: getty images