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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ex-owner of Hereford House charged in restaurant arson

Herford

Federal prosecutors have accused Rod Anderson, the former owner of the Hereford House, of arson after the downtown landmark was destroyed by fire in October 2008, Mark Morris reports. Anderson had filed for personal bankruptcy a few months after the fire.

Arson cases are notoriously hard to solve, but ATF officials said -- within days of the fire -- that someone had set the fire. Over the coming months, the authorities would offer a $10,000 reward and release surveillance photos of a man shown inside the Hereford House shortly before the blaze.

From Mark Morris:

Authorities alleged that Anderson first met with an unidentified co-conspirator for about 50 minutes on Sept. 27, 2008, and showed him the property for about 50 minutes. Anderson also purportedly gave the co-conspirator a key and a security alarm code.

The indictment suggests, however, that more than one person allegedly helped burn the building. According to the charges, Anderson’s “co-conspirators” then used the key and alarm code to conduct a “walk-through” of the restaurant on Oct. 12.

Here's a PDF of the indictment. It doesn't look like they've charged the guy in the surveillance photos at this point.

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