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Las Vegas man arrested in connection with car fires, structure fire

A Las Vegas man has been arrested in connection with the torching of five cars and a structure in east Las Vegas, police records show.

Juan Enrique Lopez, 52, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center Thursday on suspicion of one count of first-degree arson and five counts of third-degree arson. A Las Vegas police arrest report for Lopez indicates he was arrested in a string of fires that broke out Sunday at 12:26 a.m. in a residential neighborhood near Warm Springs Road and Eastern Avenue.

Police said in the report that they were first called to the neighborhood by a woman who said two vehicles in her driveway were on fire. Police learned that three vehicles and a nearby residence were also on fire one street away. The fires were extinguished, and no one was seriously injured, but a Clark County Fire Department investigator soon determined the fires were deliberately set.

Police said they interviewed a woman at the scene who had previously been in a tumultuous dating relationship with Lopez. The woman also lived at one of the homes where two cars were set ablaze. She told police that Lopez was upset that she’d recently made the decision to euthanize a dog they co-owned because the canine was seriously ill. Police then checked video surveillance in the area and saw video of a vehicle at the crime scene, where the fires broke out, that bore a close resemblance to Lopez’s.

“The vehicle is silver in color and is similar in design to the 2012 Infinity M37 four-door sedan that Juan is known to drive,” police said.

Police ultimately tracked down Lopez and interviewed him. He acknowledged he was upset about the death of his dog, but he denied setting the fires. Police said they searched his car and found a container of “Expert Grill Lighter Fluid,” the report states.

A criminal complaint in the case has not been filed. Lopez is scheduled to make an appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Tuesday for a status check on whether Clark County prosecutors plan to file charges.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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