Teenager Charged with 12 Arson Fires - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Teenager Charged with 12 Arson Fires

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A 19-year-old man is charged with a string of arson fires throughout Jamestown and Falconer, NY.

"This is not a property crime,” said Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi.  “It's a crime against human beings."

The suspect is identified as Jonathan Young.  He's now charged with 12 counts of arson.

"I can tell you that I don't know much about him,” said Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings.  “He's a young man from our community…never has been an issue that I'm aware of until these arsons."

The string of intentionally set fires began on March 2.  Police say Young targeted abandoned and vacant properties.

However, two of them were occupied, including a building in Falconer, New York, which was destroyed on March 22.

After the Jamestown Police Department released a surveillance video, which captured a suspect at the scene of one of the fires, investigators say Young went to Butler County, PA, where he was arrested last week and charged with a separate arson and burglary.

"He was lying about his identity,” said Chief Snellings.  “He had been reported missing and then once they were able to ascertain who he was, they brought him through the system and that's how they (Pennsylvania police) contacted us."

Young remains in custody in Butler County, where he awaits extradition.

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