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Syracuse man booked for arson

Syracuse man booked for arson



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SYRACUSE -- Police have arrested a 43-year-old man accused of setting fire to a garage and destroying two cars.

Officers were called to Dennis Leroy Peterson's home last week on a fast-burning fire in a detached garage.

"The fire burned very hot, and it took a long time for the fire guys to get it under control," Syracuse police Lt. Tracy Jensen said Wednesday.

Peterson was burned in the blaze and rushed to the hospital. Jensen said Peterson initially claimed that his 10-year-old son may have started the fire.

"When in fact, when we looked at it, the 10-year-old wasn't even home," he said.

Police said their investigation determined the fire was started intentionally and may have been tied to financial troubles.

Peterson was booked into the Davis County Jail late Tuesday on suspicion of arson. Jensen said detectives are investigating whether the alleged arson is tied to insurance fraud.

The case is the latest in a series of economy-related issues that police have had to deal with in suburbia.

"We have some fairly large homes that people got into, and they're having a hard time with that," Jensen said. "We've seen a few instances that are kind of concerning."

Homes are slipping into foreclosure, and officers are finding themselves called out to keep the peace when someone is evicted. They are also taking theft reports of appliances stolen.

"We're in a tough economy, and we're seeing more and more of these types of things," Jensen said. "People willing to destroy or damage something versus give it back."

E-mail: bwinslow@ksl.com

Ben Winslow

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