Public Safety

Man accused in Duchess Cleaners arson faces new burglary charges

A Cedar Rapids man who faces arson charges in connection with the fire that destroyed Duchess Cleaners also faces unrelated burglary and attempted burglary charges in two break-ins in August.

According to the criminal complaint, Grant M. Ajango, 22, is charged with attempted third-degree burglary and burglary stemming from two incidents — one at a Dairy Queen and another at a residence.

The complaint states Ajango was identified through video surveillance footage after an attempted break-in on Aug. 22 at the Dairy Queen at 510 16th St. NE. The video allegedly shows Ajango attempting to pry the shop’s back door open.

The next day, police responded to a burglary at a home in the 100 block of Crescent Street SE.

When they arrived, the complaint states, officers found Ajango inside. Through their investigation, officers determined Ajango allegedly caused more than $1,000 in damage to the home by breaking windows and cutting copper pipes.

Ajango also faces several previous charges in connection with two arsons that occurred around the same time — a residential fire in a three-story building on First Avenue SE and the blaze that destroyed Duchess Cleaners on Center Point Road NE. Each of those incidents resulted in charges of second-degree arson and third-degree burglary.

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