Umatilla arson suspect faces new charges

James Anthony Bennett accused stealing jewelry

The man accused of intentionally setting fires at several places in Umatilla now faces additional charges.

UMATILLA, Fla. – The man accused of intentionally setting fires at several places in Umatilla now faces additional charges.

According to court records, James Anthony Bennett was charged on Wednesday with burglary and grand theft.

According to the affidavit, the owner of the Jolly Rodger Pawn shop claims a man surveillance video shows Bennett burglarizing his shop at the same time two of the fires he set were burning.

Investigators said they believe he was possibly using the fires as a diversionary tactic to steal approximately $300 worth of turquoise and silver rings in a case.

The discovery was made by a tipster to investigators whose identity has not been made public.

Bennett was originally arrested on April 18 and charged with four counts of arson for fires that were mysteriously set throughout the Umatilla area in February and March.
 


About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.