Young boys suspected of arson, fraud in separate Kokomo cases

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Police in Kokomo say two young boys are suspected of setting fire to a vacant home while a third youth is accused of fraud in a separate case.

On Friday, officers detained a 9-year-old and a 10-year-old in connection with an arson case. Firefighters responded to a home in the 600 block of South Brandon Street just before 7 p.m. on Sept. 18.

Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set. Kokomo police officers detained the 9-year-old and 10-year-old boys in connection with the case. Investigators suspect this was an arson case because the home was vacant and had no functioning utilities that could’ve sparked the fire.

Meagan Crawford lives across the street from where the fire occurred.

“It’s not very far from my home,”Crawford said. “It makes me think ‘Oh my.’ If we’ve got 9, 10, 11-year-old kids out here doing this, am I next? That gives us a major scare.”

Kyle Downs said he was right next door on the day of the fire.

“When you start a fire somewhere, it can spread way too easy and cost some people their lives,” he said.

Police are not revealing how they connected the two children to the case.

Crawford tells CBS4 she is frustrated with this case and hopes parents take on a more active role to keep something like this from happening again.

“I have a vacant next to me,” Crawford said. “If that had been the one to burn, we would’ve all been evacuated. I have animals and I have my life. My husband and I and my father live here. I can’t have that.”

In a separate case, Kokomo police detained a 9-year-old boy on a fraud charge over the weekend. Police said the child’s grandmother alerted them after the child made several online purchases using her bank account.

Kokomo police said it was “very unusual” to have children that young suspected of crimes, especially in the same week. Authorities say the parents of the children involved in these cases are cooperating with the investigations.