Beginning April 22, 2016 through September 2, 2016, detectives from the Department’s Property Crimes/ Arson Unit have been investigating a series of arsons on the City’s west side. In all, eight suspicious fires, during this time period, have been identified as arsons.
On October 6, 2016, at around 7:30 AM, 31-year-old Thomas S. Leeper, Jr. was arrested for Arson of an Occupied Structure. This arrest stems from a September 2, 2016 investigation involving a fire at 3651 W. Carla Vista Dr. In addition to the September 2, 2016 incident and, as a result of information gathered after Mr. Leeper’s arrest, he has also been charged for his alleged involvement in an arson on August 10, 2016 at 3643 W. Carla Vista Dr., an arson on August 16, 2016 at 3516 W. Toledo St., and an arson on August 28, 2016 at 3648 W. Tyson St. Mr. Leeper has been booked into the Maricopa County Jail on three counts of Arson of an Occupied Structure (13-1704), a class 2 felony, one count of Arson of a Structure (13-1703), a class 4 felony, and 7 counts of Endangerment (13-1201), a class 6 felony.
This is an ongoing investigation. At this time, Mr. Leeper is considered an investigative lead on the other four open arson investigations.
The Department would like to extend its gratitude to the Chandler Fire, Health, & Medical Department, Tempe Police Department, Scottsdale Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives for their assistance in these investigations.