Accused FD arsonist caught

The second suspect in an arson investigation was arrested by Fort Dodge police Thursday after they received a tip about where he was hiding.

Gregory P. White, 23, of Fort Dodge, is accused of setting Bemrich Electric & Telephone Inc. on fire June 21 while committing a burglary with Tanner J. King, 22.

Shortly after noon Thursday, officers received a tip from Webster County Crime Stoppers saying White was at a house in the 1200 block of Sixth Ave. N., according to Police Chief Tim Carmody.

Officers searched the house and found White hiding in the attic. Carmody said the suspect was arrested without incident.

King, White’s alleged accomplice, was arrested Wednesday.

At his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon, King was ordered held on $55,000 bond on all charges. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 5.

The pair has been charged with first-degree arson, second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft and possession of a firearm as a felon, all felonies.

It’s alleged they broke into Bemrich Electric & Telephone Inc., 110 S. 21st St., in the early morning hours of June 21.

Officers and firefighters were called to the scene at 2:43 a.m. after the fire was reported. The blaze was contained a little more than two hours later, at 4:50 a.m.

Evidence at the scene led King and White to be charged in the case.

Investigators are also trying to determine if the pair is connected to another burglary at the American Red Cross Training Center, which was reported the same day.

Carmody said the perpetrators took a vehicle and several items that were in the business.

The vehicle was recovered hours later near the 1800 block of First Ave. S.

As a result of the Red Cross burglary investigation, members of the Webster County/Fort Dodge Regional Special Emergency Response Team searched a property at 225 S. 20th St.

Officers found evidence that suggested the Red Cross burglary and fire at Bemrich Electric “may be tied together,” Carmody said, adding “additional evidence collected throughout this investigation will be processed and may lead to additional charges.”

White is expected to make his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court today.