Arson suspect arrested in Phoenix

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Anthony Lee Gray By Jennifer Thomas Anthony Lee Gray By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Phoenix fire investigators say they nabbed a serial arsonist following a number of large Dumpster fires between 24th and 30th streets near Indian School Road.

Anthony Lee Gray, 33, was arrested and charged with five counts of arson in connection with several Dumpster fires in or near Los Olivos Park since March 4.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, one fire caused more than $1,000 in structural damage to Devonshire Senior Center near 28th Street and Devonshire Avenue.

A surveillance camera from the Phoenix Police Department was installed on the senior center and bait Dumpsters were placed at the site to try and identify a suspect. At approximately 4 a.m. Wednesday, a dark-skinned male was captured on video setting fire to the Dumpsters.

Follow-up investigation determined the suspect was carrying a shopping bag from a local QuikTrip. In store-video cameras recorded an image of a black male wearing clothes that matched those of the suspect on the police surveillance camera.

The suspect paid for the items with a food stamp debit card, which was traced to Gray.

Gray was arrested Thursday at his home near the park.

According to Maricopa County Superior Court paperwork, Gray admitted to being a fire setter since the age of 17 and said that he sets fires when he is angry and/or forgets to take his medications.

He reportedly admitted to five arson fires.