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WEST FARMINGTON Village remains fearful



Published: Wed, August 1, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The sheriff's department continues to investigate the nine arson fires.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WEST FARMINGTON -- Village residents say they are still fearful despite the arrest of a teen-ager who faces charges of vandalism, breaking and entering and theft, the mayor said.

Mayor Allen Patchin said he is pleased Trumbull County deputy sheriffs arrested the 17-year-old boy Tuesday on the charges, but he added that some residents will remain worried until authorities catch the person or people responsible for setting nine arson fires in the village.

On the morning of July 21, the village was lighted by fires that were all set in a two-hour span. No arrests have been made.

"The arsons are what is on everyone's mind," Patchin said.

Patchin and Sheriff Thomas Altiere said investigators are still probing the fires and have several suspects.

Altiere declined to say if the 17-year-old was a suspect in the arson fires.

Altiere said the teen-ager is accused with the June 22 vandalism of the memorial fountain located next to the West Farmington Village Town Hall and the July 14 breaking and entering and theft from a garage.

Detained: The teen is being held in the county juvenile detention facility and is scheduled to appear in court later this week.

The mayor said a $200 award was being offered to anyone who helped authorities catch the person or people who destroyed the fountain. Patchin said sheriff department officials will decide if anyone will get the money.

"They will look into that matter at the completion of the case," the mayor said.

Officials are offering an award of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the arsonists.

Patchin and several residents said they do not know why there has been an increase of vandalism in the village this year.

Residents said doors are locked this summer, and many citizens will not venture out on the sidewalks after dark.

"We have asked residents to put their porch lights on at night and we now have patrol every night," the mayor said.

He noted the village has a part-time police force and in the past the officers were not able to patrol every evening.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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