A Caldwell business owner allegedly told officers he was being held hostage while several gunmen set fire to several businesses, including his own, the Caldwell Police Department said.
But the 44-year-old allegedly lied to police and intentionally set the fire.
The man was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, including second-degree arson, burglary, malicious property damage, destruction of evidence and false evidence, according to a department news release.
On Tuesday, Caldwell Fire and local police departments were dispatched to 4621 Cleveland Boulevard for a structure fire, according to the release. The rental houses housed several businesses, including the suspect’s shop and another business, R&R Muffler.
R&R Muffler was not open and no one was injured, the statement said.
“Fire suppression efforts lasted several hours,” the statement said.
Hours later, the suspect contacted police and told them he had been “held hostage by several gunmen at his business as they set fire to his business,” the statement said.
After the department conducted its investigation – which included an interview with the man – police allege he set the fire on purpose.
The man was jailed at Canyon County Jail, the statement said, although it is unclear if he has posted bail. The Idaho statesman contacted the department for additional information.
This story was originally published June 2, 2022 1:05 p.m.
CORRECTION: The business owned by the alleged arsonist was initially incorrect. The Caldwell man owns a nearby R&R Muffler shop.
Corrected June 3, 2022