Video Catches Alleged Arsonist Buying Lighter Fluid In Edmond

Monday, January 30th 2012, 3:16 pm
By: News 9

Edmond Police have arrested a man who they say confessed to setting two separate fires.

According to police, 30-year-old Russell Adams confessed to setting a grass fire in Guthrie. He also confessed to a car fire and another attempted arson at an apartment.

The grass fire was started on Vicki Beckman's property in Guthrie on January 17. It damaged her fence and yard. Once the fire was put out, investigators found a plastic bottle they believed contained lighter fluid. The bottle was half-destroyed by the fire, but investigators say it contained a label and an odor indicating it was lighter fluid.

Beckman told investigators her niece was living with her and that her niece had previously dated Adams, but was trying to avoid him. Beckman and her niece told police they believed Adams got off work at KFC located at 2nd Street and Bryant, then walked 45 minutes to their Guthrie home and set the fire.

Investigators went to several locations in Edmond including Valero, Shell and Wal-Mart to search for a bottle of lighter fluid similar to the one they found at the scene. According to a police report, they found an identical looking bottle that contained lighter fluid at the Wal-mart Neighborhood Market located at 2nd Street and Bryant. Managers of the store assisted police and provided a receipt showing someone did purchase the lighter fluid and a soda at a self-checkout register using cash. The transaction also was caught on surveillance video, showing the suspect making the purchase, walking out of the store and then heading westbound on foot.

Investigators working on the second arson case were able to identify the suspect in the video as Adams. During a police interview, police said Adams confessed to both fires. Adams was arrested and booked at the Edmond Police Department on complaints of arson.