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Accused arsonist linked to four downtown Boulder fires, attempted burglary

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 14:04:35-04

BOULDER, Colo. — Police in Boulder arrested a man accused of setting four arson fires that significantly damaged property in downtown Boulder Friday. He is also suspected of trying to break into a home the same day he allegedly set the fires, police said.

Troy Lee Schneider, 53, was arrested for investigation of first degree arson (three counts), second degree arson (two counts), second degree burglary (two counts) and criminal attempt – second degree burglary.

Police said Schneider, who is experiencing homelessness, confessed to all four fires and the attempted burglary. Surveillance video also places the suspect at the scene of most of the incidents, police said.

The first fire was set around 2:23 p.m. Police and fire responded to the 800 block of Pearl Street to a report of a mechanical room that was on fire. The fire department extinguished the flames quickly, however a significant amount of damage was sustained to the building and its equipment.

At 3:43 pm, a shed at the 1300 block of Arapahoe Avenue was set ablaze. Again, the fire department extinguished the fire quickly. About an hour later, the police and fire departments responded to the 1000 block of Lawry Lane on a report of dumpsters on fire.

Schneider is also accused of attempting to break into a home in the 300 block of Arapahoe Avenue. The resident provided video surveillance of the suspect who tried to enter the house. The suspect in the video matched the earlier footage from one of the fire scenes, according to police.

Just before 7 p.m. Friday, police spotted Schneider walking in the University Hill neighborhood and arrested him.

During a subsequent interview, Schneider also admitted to committing an arson on June 28, in the 900 block of Walnut Street, according to police.

Schneider was booked into the Boulder County Jail. A booking photo was not immediately available.