Serial home burglar sets off fireworks in celebration before leaving with diamonds and cash

A restaurant, a bar and several apartments went up in flames after burglars set off fireworks while celebrating their own final celebration on Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Arson investigators are on the case.

The restaurant tenants hosted a final dinner party Saturday night, when the party broke out. The occupiers of two of the three homes suffered burns and smoke inhalation. Another pair escaped with minor injuries.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said three suspects went up to the three partygoers at the apartments and stole jewelry. She told the Chronicle the burglarizers lit off fireworks to celebrate, and the fireworks made the top of an apartment’s roof explode.

One of the owners, Neil Lutke, told the paper he thought he heard something that sounded like a tire squealing, so he closed the windows. He thought nothing of it until somebody screamed out, “Your whole roof’s exploding!”

Lutke called 911 to report the explosion. The explosion knocked out several windows in the city’s Mission District. When firefighters arrived, they found one of the buildings burning.

Firefighters took an hour to get the flames under control, according to NBC News. One suspect was taken into custody at the scene. Hayes-White said it took the arson investigators several hours to piece together the events of the fire. She said officers are searching the neighborhood for the other two suspects.

Five people have been displaced by the fire. Lutke and his business partner, a Filipino-American couple, planned to open their restaurant, called San Francisco Shanghai Market, early next year.

“For what happened, I’m pretty cool with it,” Lutke told NBC. “There’s another brand of people coming in.”

Leave a Comment