Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man arrested in connection with Duchess Cleaners arson

Grant Michael Ajango previously charged with other August arsons

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A Cedar Rapids man was arrested Thursday night in connection with the August arson of a Duchess Cleaners that led the business to close.

Grant Michael Ajango, 22, is charged with second-degree arson, a Class C felony, and third-degree burglary, an aggravated misdemeanor.

According to court filings, prosecutors say Ajango broke into the cleaners at 3905 Center Point Rd. NE in the early morning of Aug. 20 using a hammer, set the fire and then stole a set of keys to a delivery van.

Investigators found an iPad with fingerprints allegedly matching Ajango’s in the van, and witnesses and security footage from nearby businesses showed Ajango near the building before emergency crews were dispatched to the scene.

Duchess Cleaners’ owners announced on its Facebook page Tuesday that they would close its remaining location at 588 Boyson Rd. NE at the end of the month.

Duchess general manager Chris Gray said the final day of operation at the Boyson Road location will be Oct. 31.

Ajango previously was arrested in August in connection with an alleged arson at 1445 First Ave. SE and an attempted arson in the Five Seasons Parkade on First Avenue SE.

As of Friday afternoon, Ajango was being held at the Linn County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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