CHARLESTON, S.C. — Charleston officials have made their first arrest in a string of arsons spanning more than a decade. But they said Monday that the investigation is far from over.
Police Chief Greg Mullen said Kenny Boone, 55, was arrested over the weekend and charged with three counts of arson – for a December 2010 fire in the city and for two more recent fires in the Charleston County community of Hollywood.
Boone, of Charleston, is also charged with a fourth count of soliciting another to commit arson. Boone was in the county jail Monday on $255,000 bond. A sheriff’s department spokesman said Boone did not yet have an attorney.
For more than two years, local, state and federal officials has been investigating 80 arsons in the city since 2000, most in a downtown area where college students rent apartments.
Mullen said police recently got a tip from an informant about the suspect and had him under surveillance. The chief said Boone was stopped as he was allegedly on his way to set another fire. Mullen said a can of gasoline was found in the vehicle.
Mullen said Boone was a contractor who had done repair work on a building in Charleston that was burned in another fire. Mullen added he lives near the downtown area where most of the fires have occurred and was considered a person of interest before authorities received the tip.
It’s been a year since the last suspicious fire.