Man charged with arson of heating and plumbing business in Carroll County

Todd J. Crider

FLORA, Ind. – A suspect has been arrested for the arson of a Flora business in 2017.

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe H. Leazenby announced Monday that Todd J. Crider, 31, has been extricated from South Dakota to face a charge in connection with the arson of Lauderdale Plumbing and Heating Company.

Officers began investigating the case last August when they were called to the fire at 3 South Sycamore Street. After the blaze was extinguished, investigators say they determined it was intentionally set. Sheriff Leazenby says the business was not a total loss but suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage.

After many months of interviews and follow-up, investigators say they presented formal information to prosecutors who agreed to file formal charges against Crider.

According to Sheriff Leazenby, Crider was found by authorities in Sioux Falls when he allegedly was arrested for theft at a business there.

Crider has been charged with one count of arson, a level 4 felony. He made his first court appearance Monday. His bond was set at a $25,000 cash bond and a $50,000 surety bond. His jury trial has been scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019.

Crider is also being held on a Tippecanoe County arrest warrant, charged with two counts of theft and a charge of being a habitual offender.

“Arson investigations can be some of the most difficult and extensive for fire and criminal investigators to follow up on. Obviously, unless professional investigators can locate specific items, evidence from a fire can be limited. Many tireless hours were put forth by our investigators in seeking justice for this alleged crime,” said Sheriff Leazenby regarding the investigation.

The sheriff’s office wanted to make it clear that this investigation is not associated with the Flora house fire that killed four young sisters in November 2016. That investigation is still active and being led by Indiana State Police.

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