A 21-year-old Riverhead man previously arrested on a burglary charge in 2009 is being held on $50,000 bail on an arson charge after he allegedly used a propane torch to burn his way into an occupied Fanning Street home early Wednesday, Riverhead police said.
Authorities said Tyree Dawson used the tool to gain access to the house some time before 4:30 a.m., fully aware that people were inside. Riverhead police arrived at the house to investigate the possible burglary and identified Mr. Dawson as a suspect.
Mr. Dawson was found at his home on Horton Avenue and arrested. He was charged with felony arson because the house he targeted was burned, said police Sgt. Sean Egan.
Sgt. Egan said the motive for the attempted break-in is still under investigation and could not provide more details on how Mr. Dawson was caught.
Nothing was taken from the house during the incident, Sgt. Egan said. The Town Fire Marshal’s office said they were not called to the scene this morning.
Mr. Dawson was arraigned in Riverhead Town court Wednesday afternoon and held in Suffolk County jail on $50,000 bail, a court clerk said. He is due back in court with an attorney on Thursday morning.
Mr. Dawson had been arrested before on a felony burglary charge, according to a previous published news report.
The then-17-year-old was arrested along with two other teenagers in December 2009 after police said they broke into an East Main Street store in the early morning hours and stole $400 worth of assorted cell phones, the report states.
Town court officials said Mr. Dawson was indicted by a county grand jury on the burglary charge. The status of that case was not immediately available.