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Michigan State Police accuse man of arson over trash bin fires

Following reports of two trash bin fires near the campus of Central Michigan University, police have arrested a man they say caused the flames. The man could also be charged in connection with a series fires that took place in late April and early May. It does not appear that anyone was hurt in the arson fires or the earlier ones.

The trash bin fires were discovered at apartment complexes down the street from each other in Mount Pleasant on May 17. A witness called police, who responded to the scene along with firefighters. The suspect was arrested that same day. It is not clear how officers are linking the fires to the suspect, whose age and identity were not mentioned in a news article.

State police are further attempting to find evidence tying the suspect to 21 trash bin and 11 other suspicious fires that occurred in town between April 28 and May 5. One of the apartment complexes hit with a fire on May 17 was the site of four previous trash bin fires over that period. Some of the fires involved furniture ignited outdoors. The Michigan Arson Prevention Committee had offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Arson cases can involve technical, complex evidence that prosecutors use to try to prove a person was responsible for a fire. A defense attorney may be able to examine the evidence and obtain an expert analysis that differs from the government's official version of events.

Source: Central Michigan Life, "Man arrested for Friday dumptster fires, unknown if connected to 32 Mount Pleasant fires at end of spring semester," Amanda Brancecum, May 21, 2013

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