SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Police in Sharon arrested a teen in connection to a string of arsons in the city.
The 13-year-old boy was arrested Monday night in connection to at least five fires. There have now been about 20 vacant house fires so far this year in Sharon.
Investigators think the boy is responsible for three fires Sunday that damaged a garage on East Budd Street and a house on Dock Street. A third fire destroyed a house on Florence Street. Police also think the boy started two previous fires on Orchard Street.
Sharon Police Chief Gerry Smith said witnesses helped lead police to their suspect
“We developed a suspect from an eyewitness that basically broke the case loose. Then, we were able to link all five of those together,” Smith said.
Those fires were in the same section or zone of the city and were all within three blocks of where the teen lived.
Investigators plan to talk with more teens about possibly being involved. Many people still want to link these latest fires to the multiple others across town, but Smith said there are things about the other fires that just don’t match up with the ones they connected to the teen.
“The other arsons on West Hill have an M.O. these ones did not fit. They had an M.O. of their own,” Smith said.
Smith has confidence in each investigation and that the correct person is in custody for each group of fires, but it is discouraging to think that a 13-year-old could be leading a group which set some of the fires.
“It’s disturbing that they are that young, that they are involved in that type of crime because this type of crime keeps escalating throughout their life,” said Gloria Guthrie, Sharon resident.
Earlier this month, police arrested a suspect who they said they’ve connected to another arson in the city. John Burns was charged with trying to set a rug on fire up against the Community Counseling building.
Smith said every suspicious fire has a suspect-except one. A fire on Division Street appears totally unrelated to the look of these other two groups.