Episode Two – Flames, Gangs, and ID Thieves


Santiago Fire Flashpoints


We begin Episode Two with the Santiago Fire, one of the largest unsolved arson fires in Orange County history.  It was evening of October 21, 1997  when someone purposely set this wind-driven enferno near the corner of Santiago and Silverado Canyon Roads.  The flames scorched more than 28,000 acres and damaged or destroyed more than 40 homes, barns and buildings.

More than 3-years later, a $250,000 reward remains unclaimed because  investigators still have no suspects or solid leads. If you saw anything suspicious that night, or if you’ve heard someone bragging about the destruction they caused, you can be part of the solution by calling the Orange County Fire Authority Arson Tipline at 800/540-8282.

Next we join the Santa Ana Police Department’s Gang Detail for a ride-along where we get a first-hand look at the success of a court injunction that bans gang activity in the Santa Nita neighborhood.  From San Clemente to Orange and Anaheim, the Orange County District attorney has expanded its gang injunction efforts into eight Orange County neighbors where gang-related crime has been reduced by as much as 50%.

We end this episode with one of the fastest growing crimes in Orange County:  Identity Theft.  ID theft victim, Miguel Chavez, shares the nightmare of having his social security number stolen by more than a dozen people who are illegally using it to work at jobs across the country.  Attorney, and former ID theft victim, Mari J. Frank, is helping Chavez untangle the web of red tape and reclaim his identity.  She also has great advice to help you avoid some of the pitfalls that threaten us all in this day and age.

ID Theft Resources:

Federal Trade Commission

Identity Theft Resource Center

Mari J Frank’s Identity Theft Prevention and Survivial

OCDA Gang Injunctions: (Links to maps of neighborhood “Safety Zones” posted here)