Man arrested Monday evening after trying to set occupied home on fire twice

On Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021, at approximately 7:50 am, the Turlock Fire Department received a call of a working structure fire in the 500 block of Sunnyside Dr. Battalion 4, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34 were dispatched. The caller, who lived across the street from the residence, noticed the fire and ran to the home to wake up and alert its occupants’, which are three adults and three children.

Upon Battalion 4’s arrival, he reported that there was nothing showing, but an occupant of the home was reporting that her air conditioning system was on fire. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the fire was already out. The Turlock Police Department was requested to respond and investigate the incident as an arson, as there was information provided that someone had intentionally thrown an incendiary device at the home to start a fire.

Officers responded and further revealed that there was a previous fire at the residence on Monday, May 24th, 2021, which was not reported at the time. It was determined that fire was also caused by an incendiary device. On Wednesday, June 21st, 2021, detectives identified J.D. Dwaine Lucas, 37, of Turlock, as their suspect.

On that same day, detectives determined a location where Lucas would possibly be at. Detectives began a stake out at the location and Lucas was later located there. Detectives and officers made contact with Lucas and took him into custody without incident. Lucas was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on two counts of arson on an inhabited dwelling and six counts of child abuse, which is a result of three children being inside the home both times the fires were intentionally set.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Gina Giovacchini at 209-668-6539 or by email at You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at

J.D. Dwaine Lucas

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