Newark police arrest Delaware arson suspect

Newark Police arrested a man suspected of setting two fires in the city last Saturday.

Police charged John Grimes, 20, of Newark with arson, burglary, reckless endangering and criminal mischief. Grimes remains in custody at Howard R. Young Correctional in lieu of $40,100 bail.

Officers were able to identify the 20-year-old because he was videotaped without a shirt on by several surveillance cameras throughout Newark not far from the scene. 

Officers believe Grimes entered two apartments, both in the 100 block of Victoria Court, and set fires in the early morning hours of Sept. 20. 

The first incident occurred at 12:17 a.m. The people living in the apartment extinguished the fire which was contained to their stove top. They told police the suspect entered their home through an unlocked back door, placed mail on the stove, lit the burners and then fled.

The second incident came about 10 minutes later in a nearby apartment. The resident reported that he came home to an apartment filled with smoke. He later found a roll of paper towels on the stove with the burners lit. That fire burned itself out and it too was limited to the stove top. It’s unknown whether the apartment was locked up prior to the fire, but there were no signs of forced entry.  

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.