Skip to comments.DNA Link Leads to Arrest of Suspected Serial Arsonist (DC Area)
Posted on 04/27/2005 1:10:11 PM PDT by Pyro7480
DNA Link Leads to Arrest of Suspected Serial Arsonist
Washington (AP) - A two-year search for a serial arsonist in the capital region ended Wednesday with the arrest of a suspect believed responsible for more than 40 fires in the District of Columbia and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
Thomas Sweatt, 50, was being questioned by agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Agents roped off a fast food restaurant along a busy Northeast Washington thoroughfare, where an employee arriving for work said that Sweatt was the manager.
A worker at the combined KFC-Pizza Hut, who identified herself only as Martine, said Sweatt had made sure employees kept their speed up so he could get his bonus, promising if that happened, they, too, would be rewarded.
"While we have had no reason to suspect any wrongdoing, we are fully cooperating with the authorities in this investigation," KFC spokeswoman Bonnie Warschauer said in a statement from the company's Louisville, Ky., headquarters.
The fires began on March 8, 2003, in the District, and were set in the pre-dawn hours. One blaze - on June 5, 2003 in Northeast Washington - killed an elderly woman.
"If he's the one, I'm so glad they got him," said D.C. Councilman Marion Barry. The former mayor praised what he called good detective work by both police and firefighters.
"People shouldn't have to live in fear about what's going to happen when they go to bed at night," said Barry, whose ward has been the scene of several fires linked to the arsonist.
There have been 24 fires and 1 attempted arson in the District of Columbia, 17 fires in Prince George's County, Md., 2 fires in Montgomery County, Md., 1 fire in Alexandria, Va., and 3 fires in Fairfax County, Va.
What's the motive? He's 50 years old and works at a KFC, doesn't seem to fit the profile of the ALF/ELF terrorists.
This story just burns me up!!!
Basically none of the areas this guy hit were new development; mostly 30+ year old apartment complexes in not very wealth areas. Certainly not ELF targets.
Only a tiny fraction of the arsons in this country are ELF; most are simply pyromaniacs.
Absolutely not a word about the headline DNA link...
I wonder if he likes his chicken "extra crunchy", like burnt crisp :)
I know of DNA evidence pointing to a serial rapist in the DC area a few years back...