City of East Lansing to give reward for tips leading to arson arrests
For any East Lansing resident inclined to set couch fires, the chance of getting caught could be markedly greater.
The City of East Lansing has dedicated reward money for information leading to the arrest of anyone setting illegal fires within city limits, according to an ELPD statement.
ELPD Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said though the amount of money isn't necessarily set in stone yet, rewards if leading to arrest could reach upwards of $200 to $400, depending on the information given and the charges issued.
Over the last few years, city officials and first responders have witnessed a dangerous trend of fires being set to couches, furniture or trash in city streets, alleyways and other areas throughout the community.
ELPD responded to seven couch fires after last week's victory against Oregon, located primarily in student areas.
"These fires are extremely dangerous to bystanders in the area, but also to first responders that are called to extinguish them," the statement read.
Wriggelsworth said when police and firefighters are called to respond to a couch fire, it makes responding to a genuine emergency take that much longer.
He said lighting the couch fires might seem insignificant to someone at the time, but an arson charge on someone's record could hold them back with future employment.
"It just boggles my mind why this continues to happen in our city and we're just asking for the public's help in prosecuting some of these people that are doing it and hopefully that will get the word out," he said.
Anyone with information or evidence is asked to call 1-887-ELPD-TIP or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.