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Mon, Oct. 21

Police: Man charged with arson after setting fire at church

Prescott police arrested a man who told an officer that he broke into the Potters House, destroyed a camera, poured gasoline on the carpet, and lit it on fire early Wednesday morning, Prescott Police Sgt. Tim Fletcher said.

An officer booked Matthew Hepburn, 22, of Prescott into the Yavapai County Jail Wednesday morning on felony charges of arson, burglary, aggravated criminal damage, child abuse, and misdemeanor charges of criminal damage and hit and run.

At 12:30 a.m., Prescott police received a call about a burglary in progress at the church in the 5100 block of Highway 89 after an alarm went off.

A church employee received a call about the alarm, went to the church, found a broken window, saw a 2006 gray Toyota four-door sedan driving away from the back of the property onto Larry Caldwell Drive, and called 911, Fletcher said.

The car was found high-centered on a berm near Hole in One and Larry Caldwell drives, Fletcher said.

A 14-month-old child was found in the car, but the child was unharmed, Fletcher said.

"Hepburn later tried to report his vehicle stolen," Fletcher said. "When contacted, it was revealed that he was mad at the church."

Hepburn told the officer that he broke a window at the church, broke a camera, then dumped gasoline on the carpet, and set it on fire, Fletcher said.

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