Black Jack arsonist strikes for the 11th time -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Black Jack arsonist strikes for the 11th time


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

DECATUR COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Investigators in Decatur County continue to search for a serial arsonist after another fire over the weekend.

The Saturday afternoon fire is the 11th suspected arson in the Black Jack community.

The vacant home at 180 Black Jack Road also burned in early July.

Tommy Rogers is growing more and more frustrated with the arsons plaguing his Black Jack neighborhood.

"I hope they can catch him soon," he says.

Rogers' family owns several rental properties in the neighborhood and say the arsons are making it harder to find tenants.

"We can't put for rent signs out in front of them because that's what he's targeting. And the value of our homes goes down when something like this happens."

Rogers says everyone living here is on edge. He recently had to burn some items in his back yard. He called the authorities twice to confirm his burn permit and keep from being mistaken as the arsonist. That's because he says neighbors are keeping a closer eye on each other.

"We keep an eye out for each other," Rogers explains. "My neighbor to the left is gone a lot so he could be a target and my neighbors to the right are really old and might not be able to get out of the house quick enough. So I try to watch out for them."

Rogers was putting up a new mailbox Saturday when he realized the house across the street was on fire.

"I've been out in the yard pretty much all day and didn't see anyone. So he's got to be pretty slick. So I just try to not poke around too much because I don't want to be targeted for anything."

Authorities in Decatur County are still searching for a person of interest. They remind people that a reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for the arsons.

"10-thousand dollars or not, he needs to be caught," Rogers says. "It's not about the money. It's about the safety of the people living here."

He says bringing the arsonist to justice would be reward enough.

If you have any information on the person of interest in this case or about any of the fires, contact the Decatur County Sheriff's Office at (229) 248-3044.

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