Since February 17, 2019, a joint task force of sheriff’s detectives, state fire marshals, Lake County Fire Rescue investigators, and local police departments have been investigating a string of fires that were intentionally set in North Lake County. Four vehicles, a convenient store, a restaurant, two structures, and a dumpster burned during a span of just nine days.
During the course of the investigation, information was developed that led detectives to believe that James Anthony Bennett, 48, of Altoona, was possibly involved. Further information was received earlier this week that led to detectives’ applying for and obtaining a warrant today for Bennett’s arrest.
Bennett was arrested this afternoon at his residence, located at 42601 West Altoona Road in Altoona, and was charged with four counts of arson and two counts of armed burglary. He has a total bond of $300,000.