July 3, 2007
Madison County authorities have arrested a man for a series of arsons over the last five years.
The search for an arsonist ignited in April when a pick up truck was stolen and set on fire.
As investigators began zeroing in on a suspect, the arsonist allegedly struck again.
“Two weeks ago we had another vehicle stolen and we used a tracking canine and went right to a person of interest his house,” said Madison County Sheriff Erik Weaver.
The dogs led detectives to a house of Woodward Hallow Road in Banco and to suspect Benjamin Grant Alger. Authorities then questioned Alger's ex-girlfriend about the crimes.
“She admitted she was with him while these things were occurring while he was doing these arsons,” said Weaver.
Investigators soon learned Alger may be connected to more arsons back in 2002 when two barns, a dwelling house, and a portable toilet all deliberately set on fire.
Yesterday a Madison County grand jury charged 23 year-old Benjamin Alger with the 2002 arsons and that arson and larceny from April but police had yet to secure enough evidence to charge him with that most recent vehicle arson, that is until forensic results came back from the lab late yesterday.
“We got a match from the forensic lab that it was an exact match to the shoes that he was wearing so we put him at the scene of the arson which happened last Saturday,” said Weaver.
Alger is now charged with a total of six arsons and two larcenies.
Authorities are still investigating whether he may have committed other arsons and still looking into how these fires were started.
Alger is not cooperating with investigators but a neighbor of his said he finds it hard to believe his friend capable of any of this.
Alger is being held without bond. He faces up to one hundred years in prison if convicted of all the charges.