Man sets motel room on fire, breaks items at drugstore

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Anthony Beesley By Jennifer Thomas Anthony Beesley By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police say a 40-year-old man set his rented motel room on fire then went to a nearby Walgreens and used a cane to destroy merchandise inside the store.

Mesa police officers were called to the drugstore near Main Street and Horne at approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday and found Anthony James Beesley breaking items with a borrowed cane. Police were told it had been going on for several minutes.

Beesley complied with the officers' commands to drop the cane.

When Beesley was placed in handcuffs, he told the officers that they needed to check his apartment because he had set it on fire, according to Detective Michael Melendez.

Police found that Beesley's rented room at the nearby El Rancho Motel was on fire. Mesa firefighters were able to put out the flames and no one was injured.

Beesley reportedly told police that he had planned this event for a week and got intoxicated enough Thursday to do it.

Melendez said Beesley has alcohol, drug and possibly mental health issues.

Beesley was booked for arson of an occupied structure and other misdemeanor charges.