Disgruntled tenant steals washer and dryer causing dangerous gas leak, arrested after placing to sell

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A burglar stole a natural gas powered washer and dryer combination from a vacant house.  In the process of stealing the appliance, he caused a gas leak that required the Redding Fire Department to respond.

A landlord checked on a vacant rental house in the 3700 block of El Portal Drive at about 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 18th.  At that time, the stackable washer and dryer combo were hooked up in the laundry room of the residence.  The landlord returned to the residence for another check at about 8:30 pm to discover the washer and dryer were missing. 

Redding Police responded to the residence to investigate the burglary, at which time they immediately smelled natural gas.  The burglar had cut the gas line to the appliance in order to steal it, which caused a dangerous situation that could have resulted in an explosion.  The fire department responded to the scene and located the main shutoff valve.  Fans were used to ventilate the house.

The landlord began checking various websites for the stolen property.  One of the postings on a site known as “Let Go” contained a photo of what appeared to be the stolen washer and dryer.  The seller was asking $600.00 for the set.  A phone call to the poster of the advertisement yielded an additional clue.  The address where the seller wanted to meet matched an address of the previous tenant.  The landlord recognized the address as a forwarding address for the deposit refund.  The previous tenant had vacated the house on May 1st of this year.

Uniformed officers responded to the address in order to contact the previous tenant, who was identified as Donn Allen Malrose, age 29, of Redding.  When they arrived in the 2400 block of Placer Road, they saw Malrose walking down the street.  When they ordered him to stop he ran into a nearby residence.  The officers gave chase to Malrose and eventually cornered him in the back bedroom of the residence, where he surrendered without a struggle.

Malrose told officers he was angry with the landlord because he didn’t get his security deposit back after vacating the residence.  He stole the washer and dryer in order to sell it to make up some of the money he felt was owed to him.

The washer and dryer were located in the garage of the residence.  They were returned to the landlord.

The landlord said Malrose did not get his deposit back because the house was in poor condition when he moved out, with multiple repairs necessary before it could be rented again.

Malrose was booked at the Shasta County Jail for Burglary, Possession of Stolen Property, and Resisting Arrest.  

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