The first fire was lit at the Arco station on Camino Tassajara around 10 a.m. An employee discovered it and called police, said Danville police Lt. Mark Williams.
The woman started the fire on a baby changing table in the restroom using a Duraflame log, paper toilet seat covers and a lighter she had taken from the counter upon entering, he said.
Within the next two hours a second fire was discovered at the Chevron station on Crow Canyon Road and a third at the Starbucks down the street. Those fires were lit on top of toilet seats.
Police found the suspect, Diane Craig, 64, at a nearby McDonalds with Duraflame logs in her possession. She admitted to having lit the fires, Williams said.
"She just made a spontaneous statement that the reason she did it was she was tired of the gas prices," he said. "She basically said she wanted to take a stand."
Craig was arrested on suspicion of premeditated arson and burglary and booked into Martinez Detention Facility.
On the way there, the police car transporting Craig was sideswiped by another driver.
After the collision Craig complained of a pain in her neck and was brought to a hospital for treatment. A few hours later she was brought back to the detention facility. The driver faces charges for driving without a license.
Craig was charged June 8 with four counts of attempted arson, a felony. She tried to plead guilty in court but was stopped by the judge, who suggested she get a lawyer.