SF Not Taking Any Chances Halloween Weekend
October 29, 2011, 10:08 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue hopes the only thing lit this weekend will be jack-o-lanterns and not arsonists re-igniting a destructive string of fires.
In recent history, there hasn't been anything like it before - a surge of intentionally set fires across Sioux Falls over the past two months.
Ever since a newly-formed arson task force offered a $10,000 reward for information about the alleged arsons, the fires have seemingly stopped.
But Halloween weekend could lure the arsonists back into Sioux Falls neighborhoods.
"There should be a reasonable level of concern with what we've seen in the past. But I don't want to have anyone in our community panic about what's been going on," Sioux Falls Fire Marshall Dean Lanier said.
Few details can be released because the investigation is still ongoing, but Lanier says they are focusing on a total of 18 arsons since the beginning of August.
"There is no rock left unturned at this point that we are not taking all the way we can," Lanier said.
An unprecedented amount of resources are funneled into the investigation. Right now, Lanier said federal authorities are testing arson samples.
And while criminals can easily take advantage of a trick-or-treat environment, Lanier says there will be no significant increase in the already elevated law enforcement presence this Halloween weekend.
"You know, it won’t get a drastic focus but we are certainly aware of the issues that need to be addressed," Lanier said.
Lanier said investigators are keeping a close eye on alleyways and encourags people to report any suspicious activity.
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