Auto Theft Suspect Fleeing Police in San Jose Badly Burned in House Fire

Local News

A man suspected of stealing a car was badly burned when the San Jose home he broke into to hide from police caught fire, authorities said.

Raul Anthony Rodriguez, 29, hid in the house Monday after officers of the Santa Clara County Regional Auto Theft Task Force tried to stop him while he was driving an allegedly stolen vehicle, said Deputy Jessica Gabaldon of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Raul Anthony Rodriguez appears in a booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Office on Dec. 16, 2019.
Raul Anthony Rodriguez appears in a booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Office on Dec. 16, 2019.

Rodriguez got out of the car and ran. Task force members cordoned off the area and learned Rodriguez had allegedly broken into a home and that the homeowner fled unharmed, Gabaldon told the Mercury News reported.

About two hours later, the home caught fire and firefighters were called, said San Jose fire Capt. Brad Cloutier.

Gabaldon said firefighters pulled Rodriguez from the home and he was rushed to a hospital with significant burn injuries. He is expected to survive.

Once he is released from the hospital, Rodriguez will be booked into county jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle; resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer; and residential burglary. Rodriguez was also wanted on a $25,000 burglary warrant.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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