Leads scarce in arson cases
RIFLE – Nearly four months later, police are still working on leads and taking information regarding two arson fires in Rifle that happened on Labor Day and demolished two businesses.”We’re working on all kinds of leads and as we work on one, it leads to another,” said Police Chief Daryl Meisner. “We’re always optimistic.”The fires were reported in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 5, the first at Rifle Fireside Lanes in north Rifle and the second at the Amoco service station in the 100 block of Railroad Avenue.The blazes destroyed both buildings.Two other properties – a condominium complex at 26th Street and Meadow Circle and the Mi Hacienda restaurant in north Rifle by KFC, also sustained some damage from attempted fires. All the fires were determined to be arson.Damage was estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars. A benefit dinner in October for the business owners – Jack and Ava Bowles of the Fireside Lanes and David Valencia of Amoco – raised about $7,000. Both said they intended to rebuild their businesses.The Rifle Police Department offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects.”We have one detective that is still working almost full-time on the investigation,” Meisner said. “As long as we have leads, we will continue to work on this.”
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