DANVILLE — A Danville woman, who told police she was sick of high gas prices, was arrested Wednesday for trying to set restroom fires at two gas stations and a Starbucks outlet, police said.
"I wanted to take a stand," Diane Craig, 64, told officers after her arrest, Danville police Lt. Mark Williams said. Craig was arrested on suspicion of premeditated arson and burglary, the lieutenant said.
Police received a report at 10 a.m. about a woman using a fireplace log and lighter to burn the restroom of an Arco gas station at Camino Tassajara and Tassajara Ranch Drive in Danville, Williams said. A gas station clerk put out the fire and then called police.
Soon after, police received a report of another restroom fire, this time at a Chevron station at Crow Canyon Road and Camino Tassajara. A fireplace log again was used and a woman matching the description of the suspect in the Arco case was reported in the area, Williams said.
A third call came soon after, when a restroom was reported on fire at the Starbucks, at 11000 Crow Canyon Rd.
No structural damage occurred in any of the restrooms, Williams said.
Craig was spotted by a Danville police sergeant at a nearby McDonald's restaurant. She had eight logs with her, Williams said.
Craig admitted she was behind the mini-fire spree, Williams said. She said she woke up in the morning wanting to do something about high gas prices, the lieutenant said.
Harcharandit Kaur, who was working at the Chevron at the time of the fire there, said the woman came into the store and wandered for two or three minutes before asking for the location of the restroom. She didn't say anything else, Kaur said.
According to Kaur, the fire was detected by another woman shortly after it began.
"Thank God that lady came in and saw the fire," Kaur said.
Manjid Singh, who works at the Arco station, said the woman who set the fire asked for a restroom key but said nothing else.
Meanwhile, the police car carrying Craig to the Martinez Detention Facility for booking was involved in an accident at Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon, police said. Craig complained of neck pain and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, police said.
The other driver, a 27-year-old Pittsburg man, was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license, according to police.
Reporter Sam Sutton also contributed to this story. Reach Sophia Kazmi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-847-2122