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Three face arson charges in connection with Salisbury’s Market fire

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Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 11:10 pm

Three individuals face arson and insurance fraud charges after an investigation by the Lodi Police and Fire departments found that a fire that destroyed parts of Lodi’s Salisbury’s Market in October was likely arson.

Arrest warrants were issued for Elk Grove residents and owners Prem Basuta, 47, his wife Kulwinder “Kelly” Basuta, 48, and Lodi resident Gurmail “Gary” Singh, 55, according to a press release by the Lodi Police Department.

Police said investigators believe the three were responsible for the fire that damaged Salisbury’s Market, located at 2401 W. Turner Road, on Oct. 15, 2011.

The fire caused severe damage to the interior of the building and also resulted in one firefighter injury.

Most businesses near Salisbury’s, most of them in the shopping center at Turner Road and Woodhaven Drive, were closed for Memorial Day on Monday. Those who were there preferred to remain anonymous while talking about the suspects, whom they described as nice, but very quiet.

The store has remained closed as it has been renovated following the fire. However, according to Woodlake Plaza property manager Susan Batty in an article published in the News-Sentinel on March 9, work is nearly complete on fixing the inside of the building, and she said that store owners of Salisbury’s Market would soon be able to plan a reopening.

The Basutas and Singh turned themselves in to the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Wednesday, the press release stated.

They will appear in court on June 12 to answer to charges that included insurance fraud, attempted grand theft, and arson, the release stated.

News-Sentinel staff writer Ross Farrow contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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