Detectives from the Special Investigations Division of the Tucson Police Department as well as investigators from the Tucson Fire Department have been conducting examinations into several fires that occurred on Jan. 2 and
Jan. 3. As a result of their examinations, the investigators were able to identify and arrest 14-year old Robert Lee Jones. He was arrested for various felony counts, which have been enumerated below.
On Jan. 2, the Tucson Fire Department and the Tucson Police Department responded to a reported vehicle fire in the 2200 block of South Camino Seco. While there, they learned of a fire that had been set in a recycle-garbage bin in the 2300 block of South Camino Seco as well as incidents of graffiti that affected several vehicles in the same area.
At approximately 10 p.m. on Jan. 23, officers from Operations Division East responded to a burglary alarm at the La Petite Academy located at 8885 East Golf Links Road. At the time, there was no indication of entry to the building and no suspects found on the property. Then, just before 2 a.m. on Jan. 3, the officers were notified of another burglary alarm at the same location. Uniformed personnel were on scene almost immediately. Upon their arrival, they found that there were two La Petite Academy vans on fire. In addition, while checking the building, they were able to see that there was a fire inside the building as well. Tucson Fire Department personnel responded to extinguish the vehicle fires as well as the fires, which were described as small fires, inside of the building. Thankfully, there was no structural damage to the building as a result of the interior fires. In conducting a more thorough search of the building once the fires were extinguished, the police personnel did not locate any suspects. However, they did locate a broken window, which appeared to be the location where the suspect entered the building.
The first officers on scene directed additional responding officers to establish a perimeter search area due to the fact that it looked like the fires had been set just before the initiation of the second burglary alarm and arrival of the first officer.
A K9 Unit was able to track a scent from the scene of the fires to a nearby residence. Officers contacted an adult female at the residence, who advised officers that her son, Robert Lee Jones, was missing from the home. When he returned later in the morning on Jan. 3, she called police to advise that he was back. Detectives were able to confirm his responsibility for the car and recycle-garbage bin fires and graffiti incidents that occurred on Jan. 2 as well as the fire incidents that occurred at La Petite Academy on Jan. 3. He was also determined to be responsible for at least one other trashcan fire that was found in the 2400 block of South Parillo on the early morning of Jan. 3.
Ultimately, Robert Lee Jones was charged with 4 counts of Arson of a Structure, 2 counts of Criminal Damage, 2 counts of Arson of Property, and 1 count of Third Degree Burglary, all felony offenses. He was transported and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Correctional Center.