COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with the Columbia Police Department have identified a person of interest in connection with several suspicious fires that took place on September 26.
Investigators said Jonathan Hughes was charged with first-degree burglary, petit larceny, and hit and run. Currently, Hughes is housed at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Officials said Hughes was recorded on surveillance video at 3:05 a.m. driving wildly on the 200 block of Harden Street in a 1993 Nissan Altima. That vehicle was also identified in connection with the suspicious fire investigations. Hughes is accused of hitting a parked vehicle, leaving the scene, and not reporting the incident to law enforcement.
Hughes is also accused of breaking into a home and stealing electronics about 20 minutes later. Officials said the first suspicious fire happened at 3:45 a.m. near that home at 3205 Cannon Street. At that time, investigators said a small fire was set in the bed of a truck, which was parked in the front yard.
At 4 a.m., investigators said a house and two vehicles at 3218 Heyward Street were damaged by fire. Around the same time, two trash cans were damaged by fire at 3208 Heyward Street. Nearly 30 minutes later, officials said a boat located at 3530 Heyward Street was also damaged.
The Columbia Fire Department estimated the fires caused $82,000 in damages to the different properties.
If you have any information regarding Hughes’ activities at the time of these fires, please contact Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME SC (888-274-6372) or visiting www.midlandscrimestoppers.com or www.p3tips.com and click on the “submit a tip” tab. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.