$5,000 reward offered to help find criminal who set fire to Rhode Island church building

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in an arson that caused substantial damage to a Rhode Island church building. Here is video of the damage.

The fire was intentionally set in December at the New Life Worship Center in Smithfield, RI. According to a report from WPRI Television, surveillance video captured a blue SUV driving onto church property before sunrise Dec. 18 when the fire was set. A file story from WLNE says no one was in the building when the fire started.

Investigators have not determined a motive behind the criminal act.

Teen arrested for arson at Pennsylvania church building

Arson
(Image: Pixabay.com)

According to a report from WFMJ, a 16-year-old admitted setting a fire on the porch of the Clark Trinity United Methodist church last month.  Hermitage police Chief Eric Jewell would not say if the teen arrested was male or female, according to the Sharon Herald.

Damage to the church building was estimated at $13,000, according to Texas Gospel file stories.

The teen charged faces one count of second degree felony arson.

Arsonist strikes Michigan church

The Grand Rapids Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating an apparent arson at a church building in Michigan.  The damage was discovered Sunday morning before church members arrived.

An arson investigator said it appears a fire, which did not spread past the front entrance of Servant’s Community Church, was set intentionally according to Michigan Alive. ABC 13 said arson is suspected because there is no other reason for a door to ignite.

A post to the church’s Facebook page says, “We are saddened by an act of arson last night that caused significant damage to our front doors. Our front doors are a symbol of welcome into God’s love in this lost and broken world. We still stand as a beacon of that love right here on the corner of Watson and Deloney. All are welcome here. We held our regular worship service this morning and look forward to hosting our community meal as normal on Wednesday.”

“I was kind of hurt because this is a family church,” said church member Vern North to Wood TV.  “I couldn’t understand why someone would do this to the church,” he said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call 616-774-2345 or 616-456-3900.

Florida Man sets fire to occupied church building

2018-04-17 Mug shot of church arsonist

Florida authorities have not yet determined the motive of a man they say tried to set a church building on fire knowing that a person was inside, according to a report from News 6 in Florida. The station identifies the man as Daron Sanders, 21.

The person who was inside the ACE Faith Kingdom Church building when the fire was set told deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that Sanders saw her go inside before he set the fire, according to Kissimmee News Today.

The fire was quickly put out.  Damage to the building is estimated at less than $1,000.

Sanders is charged with criminal mischief and arson of a structure known to be occupied.

Teens arrested months after church Vandalism in Houma, Louisiana

2018-04-16 Church vandalism

Police in Houma, Louisiana Friday arrested two teens for vandalism and attempted arson at the First Assembly of God Church building in Houma, Louisiana.

The vandalism happened in June. Police determined the teens were responsible for vandalism of the church while building investigating vandalism at another structure in the city, according to a report from Houmatoday.  Officers say the teens set multiple fires in the church building, but firefighters were able to put them out without major damage.  Later the same morning the teens returned and spray painted threatening messages, vulgarities and “God is dead” on the building, according to a report from WDSU.

The names of the teens have not been released because of their age.

The case was investigated by the Houma Police Department, Houma Fire Department, State Fire Marshal’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives