Funding cuts end Michigan arson tip program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A reward program that’s put thousands of arsonists behind bars for decades is going away.

The Michigan Arson Prevention Committee program has led to more than 12,200 arrests or convictions since 1975, including a serial arsonist who burned garages in the Grand Rapids and Kentwood areas in 2010.

Investigators knew the risk to public safety that firebug posed. They also knew how tough it would be to get him off the street.

“The thing about arson as opposed to other crimes is the evidence largely burns up, so we have to go by circumstantial evidence, and sometimes it’s very difficult,” explained Grand Rapids Fire Marshal Ric Dokter.

Full Story: WOOD TV

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