BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Investigation into a series of arsons in Box Elder County led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man, who reportedly admitted to starting the fires, which resulted in more than $11,000 in damages.
Chance Jon Cutler, 21, was arrested on Saturday for multiple charges of arson. According to the arrest record, filed by Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office, Cutler was involved in at least six cases of arson.
Police say Cutler admitted to starting all of the following fires in July.
On July 9, according to Cutler’s confession, he used a lighter to set a semi-trailer on fire, as well as the area where the semi was located. According to a witness, a maroon pickup truck with a white decal that states “locally hated” was seen at the scene of the crime. This was confirmed as Cutler’s vehicle.
On July 16, Cutler allegedly said he started a field fire, located near the Box Elder County Landfill. He allegedly explained that he started the fire, and then left the area as the fire grew. According to the arrest record, Cutler was not originally a suspect in this crime, but he admitted it was him.
Later that night, Cutler allegedly went to a home in Corinne to set it on fire. He reportedly told authorities he went inside the home and lit it on fire near the backside of the house. The damages are estimated to be more than $5,000.
On July 22, according to arrest records, Cutler allegedly lit a camp trailer on fire because he was upset that two dogs had been left outside the trailer unattended. According to Cutler, he used a lighter to set paper inside the trailer on fire. He also reportedly called authorities a few hours prior to report the unattended animals.
On July 28, Cutler said he used a firework to shoot sparks into the sagebrush causing the fire. He said he then grabbed the firework and dumped it in a river just northwest of the field. Police say Cutler walked directly by a no trespassing sign as he was allegedly committing the arson.
According to the arrest record, a power pole was damaged in the fire that would exceed $5,000. However, because the power company has not given the police the official amount to replace the pole, the cost for this charge is listed as less than $500 for damages to the field but will increase when the official cost of replacing the pole is included.
On July 30, Cutler told officials that he went to a barn containing hay, and lit it on fire using a firework. He said he started the fire on a Sunday, as he had to work the next day. He explained that he committed the arson around midnight, and was tired the next day when he had to get up at 5 a.m. to go to work.
According to the arrest record, a vehicle located in the barn was also burnt. Damages are a minimum of $500, but the full amount was not determined at the time of the police report.
Cutler is facing the following charges: arson, damages of more than $5,000, a second-degree felony; arson with damages between $1500-4999, a second-degree felony; arson, damages between $500-1499, a third-degree felony; three counts of arson, damages less than $500, class-a misdemeanors; and criminal trespassing, a class-b misdemeanor.
Cutler was booked into the Box Elder County Jail and will remain there awaiting charges, and the possibility of bail. It was requested that Cutler be held without bail.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.