The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Woman arrested for arson

January 7, 2019

NEEDLES, Calif – On Saturday, January 5 at about 5:00 a.m., deputies from the Needles Police and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 2400 block of Needles Highway regarding an arson. While enroute to the location, deputies were advised a woman had started a fire then assaulted staff. The woman, identified as Latesha Smith (age 35 of Eastover, South Carolina), left the location as deputies arrived.

Smith was later found near the Best Western where she was taken into custody without incident where she was taken into custody and booked for Arson and transported to the Colorado River Station jail for booking.

Smith had to subsequently be transported to the High Desert Detention Center for medical reasons.  There she is being held on $250,000 bail, pending a court hearing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Deputy Bengard of the Colorado River Station at 760-326-9200.

Persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at

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