Indio Man Charged with Burglary, Robbery, Arson
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
We're discovering new details about an Indio man arrested for a string of robberies, burglaries and arson across the valley.
Samuel Lawson is charged with 48 felonies, a string of crimes stretching from Palm Springs to Indio over the past year and a half.
And in our archives, we found Lawson in 2000, he was charged with burglarizing and setting ablaze a Palm Springs fire station.
Palm Desert Cyclery owner, Christopher Cross, is breathing a sigh of relief.
Among Samuel Lawson's many charges are several burglaries at the bike shop since August 2011.
"I was excited, mainly because I can sleep now, that I won't be woken up in the middle of the night to an alarm or a broken window," said Cross.
This was not Lawson's first run-in with the law.
In 1998, he was convicted of burglary.
Shortly after he was released, Lawson was arrested again in 2000.
"He was convicted of burglarizing and setting fire to one of our fire stations," said Sgt. Mike Kovaleff with the Palm Springs Police Department.
Now back behind bars, Lawson is charged with dozens of burglaries and robberies across the valley and possibly another arson.
"We're looking at him as a suspect in the arson and burglary at city hall that occurred a couple months ago, during the investigation after the Riverside County Sheriff's Department arrested him, we recovered a piece of electronic equipment that was taken from city hall," said Sgt. Kovaleff.
Lawson is accused of burglaries at numerous locations including optometry offices, Lumpy's Golf Supplies, Gucci, the state parole office and for stealing handguns from Bower Security in Palm Desert.
After that, police say he committed numerous robberies at Carl's Junior, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Sonic, and gas stations.
"I might I guess consider myself lucky, that he wasn't armed at gunpoint, so he came in the middle of the night, fortunate for us," said Cross.
Palm Springs Police are also linking Lawson to several other crimes.
"Currently he's been charged with two burglaries to a doctor's office here in Palm Springs, and additionally a robbery at the airport parking kiosk," said Sgt. Kovaleff.
At Palm Desert Cyclery, the owner made some changes to security.
"We did not have security gates in that location, and now as you can see we have these drop down security gates right here," said Cross.
But cross says Lawson's arrest also makes him feel more secure.
"Knowing that this guy is off the streets was a relief, and I'm sure many other retailers and the general public is probably pretty happy too," said Cross.
The district attorney says if Lawson is convicted of the crimes, he could face life in prison because he has three strikes from the previous convictions.