Police Arrest Suspected Walnut Creek Man On Arson, Molotov Cocktail Charges

A man was arrested on suspicion of setting fire to homes and a vehicle in Antioch and Concord on the days leading up to Christmas, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials said on Tuesday.

Joshua Van Buskirk, 33, of Walnut Creek, was arrested on Dec. 24 after an investigation by the fire district into multiple fires in which an incendiary device was used.

On the same day of Buskirk's arrest, the fire district's investigators were called to a blaze in front of a home in the 3600 block of Walnut Avenue in Antioch, where two Molotov cocktail-like devices were apparently found.

That morning, another of the devices was found at a fire in the 4100 block of Churchill Drive in Concord, according to the fire district. That blaze damaged the garage door of a home that had residents sleeping inside.

District officials said Buskirk is also suspected in a vehicle arson on Dec. 23 in the 400 block of Ridgewood Court in Antioch.

Another vehicle fire, on Oct. 12 in the 100 block of Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill, has evidence consistent with the later events, district
officials said.

Following Buskirk's arrest, a subsequent search warrant yielded evidence connecting him to the arsons, according to the district. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility and is being
held on $2.1 million bail.

Buskirk faces four arson-related charges, three charges of possessing a destructive device and two charges of child endangerment or abuse, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

He will next be in court on Jan. 12 for a preliminary hearing.

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