Attempted Arson Alleged in Gas Leak Case

Neighbors reported a hissing sound after what appeared to be an act of vandalism, police said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 22-year-old man was charged in connection with running over a gas valve in Playa Del Rey, causing a gas leak in the city. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.

    A 22-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to charges connected to a natural gas leak caused when he allegedly entered a gas yard and ruptured a valve with a maintenance truck, prosecutors said Thursday.

    James Viramonte Cogley, 22, allegedly entered a Southern California Gas Company facility in Playa del Rey on President's Day, police said.

    He allegedly drove a maintenance truck over a gas valve, before stealing a pick-up truck and disappearing, prosecutors said.

    Driver Sought in Playa del Rey Gas Leak

    [LA] Driver Sought in Playa del Rey Gas Leak
    The Southern California Gas Company on Monday was trying to track down a contractor who may have caused a gas leak at a storage facility in Playa del Rey. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Playa del Rey for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2014.

    Police found the pick-up truck about a mile away where it had crashed into a parked car, officials said.

    Cogley faces one count each of attempted arson, grand theft auto, unlawful taking of a vehicle, and vandalism over $400.

    The gas leak prompted call-out by firefighters and a hazardous materials team and woke several neighbors, who reported a hissing sound coming from the plant.

    Police found the pick-up truck about a mile away where it had crashed into a parked car, officials said.

    Cogley faces one count each of attempted arson, grand theft auto, unlawful taking of a vehicle, and vandalism over $400.

    In a statement, a SoCal Gas spokesman said company officials are reviewing security protocols and "enhancing the security at Playa del Rey with additional staff and surveillance cameras."

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