Police say man started fires as bank robbery diversion in Surprise
PHOENIX — A West Valley man was arrested after he allegedly set two cars on fire to create a diversion before robbing a bank, authorities said Tuesday.
Israel Diaz, 29, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of arson, robbery, kidnapping, possession of dangerous drugs and tampering with physical evidence, according to a press release from the Surprise Police Department.
Diaz allegedly set two cars on fire near Bell Road and Grand Avenue on Friday at about 3 p.m. to create a diversion before robbing a nearby Bank of America.
After robbing the bank, Diaz returned home and burned the clothes he wore during the robbery, according to the release.
Upon his arrest, he told investigators that he recently lost his job, was served with an eviction notice and planned the robbery earlier in the week, according to the release.
Diaz was in possession of a loaded handgun and methamphetamine when he was arrested.
Surprise police credited a high volume of tips about the incident for Diaz’s quick arrest.