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November 02, 2011 06:30 AM

The Cost Of Arson

Sioux Falls, SD

Since August, one central Sioux Falls neighborhood has had 16 suspicious fires. 

"The preliminary estimates will be at least $140,000 of property loss within the city.  So, that is the lowest that we have the dollar figure; it's likely to go up more as we move along," Fire Marshal Dean Lanier said.

Property loss totals will rise significantly since right now, it's only accounting for obvious losses such as cars and garages.

"As we move along we will have more of a defined picture of exactly how much the dollar loss will wind up being. Some of the property loss will be as a result of getting feedback from insurance companies," Lanier said.

It's a crime spree that's unlike anything the city has seen before.

"We've never really had a string of fires this significant in this short of a period of time in the past so it will far exceed anything we have ever had before," Lanier said.

But with stepped up patrols and a $10,000 reward offered for information leading to the suspect, authorities hope there are no more fires.

"We certainly hope not. Based on our ability to involve other state, local and federal agencies we hope that this will be the end to it," Lanier said.

If you have any information about the fires the Sioux Falls Police and Fire Departments have set up a toll-free hotline.  Just call 1-888-860-2148.


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