Sunday, July 13, 2008

Suspects apprehended

Crime committed, suspects apprehended.

Justice will out.

Authorities arrest 3 in downtown arson case
By Mitzie Stelte

New Braunfels fire and police departments arrested three people Saturday morning for Thursday’s arson spree that caused an estimated $61,600 in damages in the downtown New Braunfels area.

Authorities arrested 17-year-old New Braunfels residents Cody R. McNabb and Emilia Zoe Spencer and charged both as adults; they were being held on $125,000 bond according to an NBFD press release. Jordan Scott Schaefer, 18, of San Antonio, was arrested by the NBFD and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and was being held in Bexar County on $75,000 bond.

NBFD Battalion Chief Darren Brinkkoeter said these three are believed to be the only ones involved in the spree.On Friday, prior to the arson arrest, Schaefer was arrested for minor consumption of alcohol and Spencer was arrested for public intoxication. Both bonded out later that day.

Police officials said evidence from the crime scenes and statements from Schaefer and Spencer during this first arrest led to the issuing of warrants to arrest them for Thursday night’s arsons.

The first break in the case, according to the release, was on Friday when NBPD located and pulled over a vehicle identified as the one leaving the incidents on Thursday. Police didn’t identify the driver — who was arrested on unrelated traffic charges — but he was not among those charged for arson.

Later on Friday morning, police were called to a burglary in process at an apartment on the 500 block of East Torrey Street, which turned out to be a disturbance in which someone broke the window of their own apartment. The NBFD release stated that, “after questioning the occupants involved, it was discovered that a couple of the occupants had participated in the arson spree the morning before.”According to the release, a detailed investigation ensued and resulted in the issuing of three arrest warrants and two search warrants early Saturday. The police did not release any other information pertaining to the investigation.

The three suspects are alleged to have destroyed two vehicles and damaged three others within a mile of each other early Thursday morning. The vehicles, which all were parked on the street, were located on the 300 block of South Academy Avenue, the 500 block of West Mill Street, the 1100 block of Eikel Street, the 1100 block of Stonewall Street and the 400 block of North Guenther Avenue.

Two other fires were set in a trash can in the first block of Playground Drive and in a metal trash bin in the 500 block of East Torrey Street, which was near the scene of the Friday morning disturbance call.The first alarm sounded at 3:18 a.m. on Academy; the second at 3:27 a.m. on West Mill; and a third alarm sounded at 4:02 a.m. on Torrey, according to NBFD reports. The four additional fires were reported between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. after residents discovered the damage.

According to the police, the punishment for arson includes 2 to 20 years imprisonment with no more than a $10,000 fine.