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CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Three Arson Arrests Following String of Marion County Fires

6/11/2014

Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413- 2842
 
TALLAHASSEE – Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of Kenneth Beare, Ketrina Cron and a 17-year-old juvenile suspect on arson and burglary charges. The arrests were made following a joint investigation by the Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office into a string of intentionally set fires in Citra, Florida, located in Marion County.
 
“I am proud of our investigators and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for working together to bring swift justice to these arsonists,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “This kind of reckless and illegal behavior will not be tolerated, and I intend to see that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
 
In the early morning hours of June 8, an SFM detective was asked to assist in the investigation of a fire at a vacant singlewide mobile home located on NE 40th Terrace in Citra. Before the night was over, a total of four vacant mobile home fires had been identified in the same neighborhood, all between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. When SFM officials began working with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the suspects were identified.
 
“The Marion County Sheriff’s Office enjoys a positive working relationship with the State Fire Marshall’s Office and this investigation was an example of a coordinated law enforcement response to criminal activity,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Fred LaTorre. “Sheriff Blair and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to the identification and apprehension of criminal perpetrators, and we look forward to an ongoing coordinated relationship with all law enforcement agencies serving the citizens of Marion County, whether they are local, state or federal.”
 
Beare, along with the juvenile suspect, were each charged with four counts of arson and four counts of burglary. Both are held on $80,000 bond. Cron was charged with two counts each of arson and burglary. Her bond was set at $40,000.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.