MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Officials have arrested a man in connection with a string of arson cases in a Memphis neighborhood.
Investigators said Dvon Robertson is responsible for starting 15 fires – all inside vacant houses in Frayser.
“We had a lot of empty houses. It’s a lot of energy and reinvestment to go after that. The last thing we need is them burned down,” said Steve Lockwood, of the Frayser Community Development Corporation.
Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.
Robertson, 27, was arrested on Monday.
People told police they saw him walking on Frayser Circle with soda bottles filled with gasoline. Minutes later, smoke was coming from a nearby home.
Officers found him and connected him to that fire, but after hours of questioning, detectives linked the accused arsonist to 14 more fires in the area.
“I don’t know what his logic was. I can’t see inside of the guy’s mind like that,” Lockwood said.
The string of arsons Robertson is linked to started in early May, documents show – 15 counts of arson for 12 homes. Investigators said he targeted two houses more than once.
- 3044 Sunrise Street
- 767 Juliet Avenue
- 924 N. Frayser Circle
- 3070 Sinclair Street
- 3126 Benjestown Road (3 separate incidents)
- 3081 Benjestown Road
- 3012 Sinclair Street
- 3040 Sunrise Street
- 3070‐3072 Sinclair Street
- 3122 Benjestown Road
- 726 Frayser Drive (2 separate incidents)
- 962 N. Frayser Circle
“I don’t know if he thought he was doing a favor by taking our old houses in the neighborhood. He was dead wrong because those houses were gonna get fixed,” Lockwood said.
Within the last year, the Frayser CDC has fixed up six abandoned homes. They are working on more right now with the help of state funding.
An open records request revealed there are more than 7,300 abandoned homes in Memphis. City officials said public works code enforcement is addressing vacant properties throughout their activities every day.
Edna Sampson, who lives next door to a vacant home, told FOX13 she is glad Robertson was caught because she thought he might come for the home next door.
Overall, Robertson caused more than $82,000 in damages from the 15 counts of arson.
Robertson is being held on a $225,000 bond. He will be in court again June 21.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.