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Set fires endanger Rutland Dr. area
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Over the past two weeks, intentionally set fires have created dangerous situations for area residents, over $20,000 in damages, and multiple responses from emergency responders.

All of the fires have been set in a small, localized area near Rutland Drive in close proximity to multiple homes and an elementary school. In addition, the offender(s) spray painted vulgarities on city park property, construction equipment, and a county school bus.

The criminal acts began on March 25 around 8 p.m. in the evening under the cover of darkness. A suspect or suspects spray painted vulgarities on city park property at Sgt. Mundy Memorial Park. The criminal acts grew dangerous, and the suspect(s) began to start fires throughout the community in the following days.

On March 27, a Wilson County school bus was spray painted at Rutland Elementary school and construction equipment was spray painted at the Del Webb – Lake Providence neighborhood maintenance area. In the same location of the construction equipment, a fire was started to a large pine-needle mulch mound using nearby diesel fuel.

On March 29, a second fire was set to the pine-needle mulch in the Del Webb – Lake Providence landscaping in front of Rutland Elementary school.
Recently, on April 11 a third fire was set to the same landscaping in front of Rutland Elementary school.

The fourth and most dangerous fire also occurred April 12. The suspect(s) ignited erosion control tubes near a large diesel fuel tank at the Del Webb – Lake Providence maintenance area using nearby diesel fuel.

All of the fires have resulted in fire personnel responding to the scene to extinguish the flames, and last night’s fire caused two fire stations to respond. All of the incidents add up to over $20,000 in damages.

Investigators believe that the same individual or individuals are committing these reckless and dangerous acts. The acts are all occurring within a 10-minute walking distance from each other and between 8–10 p.m. at night. The Mt. Juliet Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect(s). A cash reward is available for any information leading to the identification of the suspect(s).

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Mt. Juliet Police Department at (615) 754-2550. Information can also be given anonymously by calling (615) 754-TIPS (8477) or via the Mt. Juliet Police Department website at http://www.mjpd.org/.