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LAFAYETTE,IN-Two juveniles have been arrested, accused of setting fire to a northside Lafayette garage early Friday. According to Lafayette police, the juveniles could possibly be linked to other crimes as well.
Lafayette firefighters were called to a house at 2126 Underwood St. around 4 a.m. They arrived to find the detached garage in flames, said Lafayette Fire Department inspector Dave Thomas.
Raymond Briles, who lives in the house with his fiancée, Sheryl Hindsley, said he thinks the fire was started over a mo-ped that had been stolen from the garage days before. He got the mo-ped back after an on-street confrontation Tuesday with someone he noticed riding it.
"They were mad because I took it back from them," Briles said.
The fire destroyed the garage, as well as a mo-ped, a pickup and other items inside, Thomas said.
No one was injured, Thomas said, adding that the family has insurance.
Two juveniles were arrested later Friday morning on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire, Thomas said.
According to Lafayette Police Capt. Bruce Biggs, three juveniles were brought in for questioning regarding several mo-ped thefts.
The investigation led to all three being arrested on suspicion of theft, and two of them on suspicion of arson.
In addition to the arson, the trio might be linked to as many as 15 other crimes, including thefts, vandalism and one burglary, Biggs said.
Biggs could not release their names because they are under age.
All three were being held Friday in juvenile detention outside the county, Biggs said. The information will be sent to the prosecutor's office.
Briles said his mo-ped was stolen from the garage Monday night. After Tuesday's confrontation, he got it back, putting it in the garage.
A neighbor knocked on their door early Friday, alerting them to the fire. "I went out there and there was nothing but 30-foot flames," Briles said.
Briles said he's glad police caught the juveniles believed to be responsible. "I hope they prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," Briles said. "Setting garages on fire endangers people's lives."