Mesa PD makes arrests in connection with string of arsons


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Marie Saavedra

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 15 at 4:39 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police have arrested several suspects in connection with a string of arsons that have taken place in the past 15 months.

According to police, 19-year-old Travis Lee Hanson, 19-year-old Clayton Charles Becker, 20-year-old Spencer Scott Owens, and 18-year-old Zachary Sean Bergin were all taken into custody on Thursday.

The group is accused of using a butane torch to set fire to cars, landscaping, sheds, and houses.

Jerry Croy, who's home was allegedly targeted by the group, says he's breathing easier now that the four are behind bars.

"It makes me feel good," he said. "It's like a little bit of closure and just good for the neighborhood."

Investigators were recently able to identify Hanson as a person of interest in the case, and began tracking him over the past 60 days.

"We actually made some purchases of drugs from the suspect and a couple of his friends. That gave us a relationship with them so we could see what was going on," said Mesa Police Cheif Frank Milstead.

After being arrested on Thursday, Hanson reportedly admitted to his role in the crimes.

No one was injured by any of the fires caused by the suspects.