2 arrested for South Shore arson attacks
WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A man and his stepson were arraigned in court Thursday after they were arrested for a string of arson attacks on the South Shore.
Police arrested 45-year-old Michael Sargent and his 22-year-old stepson, Jeanmarie Louis Wednesday night when fire crews were called to a building under construction in West Bridgewater.
They found and quickly extinguished the small fire. Investigators were already on scene because they were tracking an arson suspect through a GPS unit they had placed on his car. Witnesses described a man matching Louis' description, running from the building. The GPS showed the individual to be on the scene of the fire for an extended period of time and during the time the fire was reported.
This investigation was sparked by dozens of suspicious fires that began last fall all over the South Shore. Most of them were set in empty buildings.
“There have been 38 fires, incendiary fires, south of Boston since September 2012. In the investigation, 24 of those fires have been linked to the same suspect or suspects based on modus operandi,” said Tim Cruz, Plymouth County district attorney.
Investigators said Sargent has been on their radar for months. This case involved surveillance and a GPS tracker on his car.
“A serial arsonist strikes fear into the public and creates a great deal of anxiety,” said Steve Coan, Mass. fire marshal.
Authorities said the two used Duraflame logs and gasoline to set the fires.
Today, the many agencies working the case credit hard work and cooperation for the arrests.
"The fires occurred over a large foot print and that has had added to the complexity of this investigation,” said Coan.
There was no loss of life, but six firefighters were injured in the fires.
They say more charges will follow against Sargent and Louis.