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Police look for connection between arson, botched burglary

By KSL.com | Posted - Nov. 10, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.


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BLUFFDALE -- A Bluffdale resident targeted by a burglar Tuesday morning was targeted again Wednesday when an arsonist tried to burn his house down. Investigators are piecing the evidence together and trying to determine whether the two crimes are related.

Tuesday, the homeowner chased off a would-be burglar after he smacked the intruder over the head with a shovel. When someone set the front room of the home on fire Wednesday morning, it didn't take the homeowner or investigators long to suspect that the same man likely came back to burn the house.

Fire crews responded to reports of a fire at the home near the intersection of Redwood Road and the Bangerter Highway around 7:30 a.m.

"When we got here, we found smoke and flames coming from the front room of the home," said Bluffdale firefighter Zach Robinson.

Investigators scoured the front room of the home for evidence after the fire was put out, and a trained arson dog hit on a fire accelerant.

Cpl. Aaron Rosen of the Saratoga Springs Police Department says someone intentionally set the fire, but investigators aren't sure whether it was a Molotov cocktail thrown through the window or started some other way.

Homeowner Reed Anderson did not want to talk on camera Wednesday but said he thinks it must be the same person coming back for revenge.

Police say the crimes appear to be related, but it's too early to make that conclusion.

"We were here yesterday on the attempted burglary and the intrusion," Rosen said. "There was some type of altercation that occurred between the homeowner and the alleged intruder, and now we're back again less than 24 hours later."

The fire was raging in the front room, but firefighters were able to contain the majority of damage that room. Anderson was outside at the time of the fire and wasn't hurt.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen some suspicious activity near Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway around 7:30 Wednesday morning to call the Saratoga Springs Police Department or Bluffdale police at 801-851-4100.

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Story compiled with contributions from Jed Boal and Cleon Wall.

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