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Posted: April 17, 2010 1:45 p.m.

Man suspected of setting car, house ablaze arrested in Alabama

           An Alabama man was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle in the early morning hours of April 15.

            Anthony Dewight Crawford, 37, is charged with arson in the first degree, criminal damage to property in the second degree and terroristic threats and acts after allegedly setting a 2004 Dodge Caravan on fire in the driveway of his ex-girlfriend’s Barshay Drive home. The fire spread to the garage of the house, burning the garage and the front corner of the home while a family five slept inside.

            The initial call came in to the Newton County Fire Department around 1:41 a.m., according to Deputy Chief Tim Smith. A neighbor noticed the flames and called for help, then banged on the door of the home, waking the two adults and three children inside.

            When firefighters arrived they found the vehicle fully engulfed. A fire investigator found that the blaze had been intentionally set inside of the vehicle and after speaking with the homeowner learned that she had been having problems with an ex-boyfriend.

            While speaking with the woman she allegedly received several calls on her cell phone between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., all from Crawford, according to Smith. A call was made to police in Auburn, Ala., where Crawford lives, and officers reportedly went to Crawford’s residence to try and make contact with him. Another man answered the door to his home and allegedly told officers that Crawford had gone to Georgia to visit a friend.

Investigators were able to listen to a call made to the victim from Crawford around 5:45 a.m. and according to Smith, heard Crawford admitting to coming to her home and setting the fire.

“He told her she got what she deserved,” said Smith.

On the afternoon of April 16, Crawford reportedly showed up at the Auburn, Ala. Police Department and wanted to know why officers had come to his home the night before looking for him. He was arrested on the spot and authorities are currently working to have him extradited to Newton County.

     
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