Public Safety

CRPD arrests suspect in arson case

Cedar Rapids Police Department has arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a fire that was set intentionally at 1445 First Avenue SE.

Grant Michael Ajango was arrested for second-degree Arson and third-degree Burglary after a witness was able to provide a description of a suspect that was seen exiting the building just as fire and smoke became visible, according to a news release.

Police officers were able to locate Ajango in the 1400 block alley between 2nd and Third Avenue SE.

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Cedar Rapids firefighters doused a fire in the third floor of a vacant building on First Avenue Saturday evening.

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According to a release, he was found in possession of items that were reported stolen from the Casey’s General Store, 1201 First Avenue SE, at approximately the same time as the fire. He was arrested for fifth-degree Theft for that crime and is being held at Linn County Jail.

Ajango was previously arrested on multiple charges after police said he tried to set a vehicle on fire at the Five Seasons Parkade on August 11, 2018. He ws also arrested in 2016 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman inside a Jimmy John’s bathroom.

According to a media release from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, fire units were dispatched at 7:33 p.m. to 1445 First Avenue SE for the report of a house on fire. As firefighters arrived at the location, they determined that there was fire coming from the third floor of a three-story residential building attached to the back of what used to be the Music Loft.

According to a release, the Police Department and Fire Department still have an active investigation into intentional fires that occurred at a residence at 1639 Hollywood Boulevard NE on August 17 and Duchess Cleaners, located at 3905 Center Point Road NE, on August 20.

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