Two young males are in custody after setting a series of fires early this morning.
At around 3:30am, personnel with the Grand Junction Police Department and the Grand Junction Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a vehicle in flames in the parking lot of the North Avenue Wal-Mart. It was later discovered that the suspects had thrown a sparkler into a van that was parked in the parking lot. The van caught fire and was fully engulfed. The van was occupied by a male sleeping inside, who was able to escape the burning vehicle with minor injuries, and the Fire Department extinguished the fire without further property damage.
From there, the males made their way down North Avenue, continuing to set off fireworks and intentionally starting, or attempting to start, several vehicles on fire along the way. The males also set fire to the wooden steps of an apartment building in the 1300 Block of N. 25th Street, causing damage to the building.
Using witness descriptions and surveillance footage, the two males were contacted in the area of the fires and positively identified as the suspects. Both are charged with numerous offenses, including four counts of 2nd Degree Arson, one count of 2nd Degree Assault, and one count of attempted 1st Degree Arson. The males, who are 17 and 18 years old, were remanded to the Department of Youth Corrections and the Mesa County Jail, respectively.