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Dayton man charged with arson, burglarizing Clark County homes

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 @ 6:51 PM

Dayton man charged with arson, burglarizing Clark County homes

A Dayton man was charged with several felonies on Tuesday morning after the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said he went on a crime spree around Mad River Twp. over the weekend.

Christopher Perdue, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charges — including a pair of burglaries and an arson.

According to documents filed in Clark County Municipal Court, deputies say Perdue broke into a home on Uplands Drive on Jan. 11 and stole a bag of tools and a jack handle from the garage.

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But before he left — he used an accelerant to set the house on fire.

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By the time firefighters got on scene, the house was fully engulfed.

It took about six hours to put out the fire, which included efforts from five different agencies. The home was deemed a total loss. No one was home when the fire started.

Deputies say it was minutes after the fire that they received a burglary call on nearby Dayton-Springfield Road.

A woman told deputies that a man broke into her house and claimed to be with the fire department — but she didn’t buy his story and shoved him out the door.

While the fire on Uplands Drive was still burning, the sheriff’s office got a call from another home on Dayton-Springfield.

A homeowner told deputies that he caught someone trying to cut his electric lines outside of his house.

All of the victims gave the same description of the suspect in each of the incidents, and deputies eventually found Perdue on Woods Road, not far from the scene of the fire, and linked him with all of the crimes, according to the sheriff’s office.

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“The defendant had a strong odor of fuel oil from his person and was found to be in possession of a Tiki torch, a silver Maglite (flashlight), lighter pruning shears, pliers,” deputies say in court documents.

Perdue’s last address on file is on Gettysburg Avenue in Dayton, and it’s not clear why he was in Mad River Twp. or what a possible motive may have been. The sheriff’s office had initially identified him as being from Fairborn.

The sheriff’s office said they don’t believe that any of the victims involved in the arson or the burglaries know Perdue.

He doesn’t have any previous criminal history in Clark County.

A judge set Perdue’s bond at a total of $50,000 for three criminal cases.

He was listed in custody at the jail as of Tuesday evening.