AUSTIN - Authorities have charged a man who they say burned a car outside an east Austin home early Wednesday morning.
Court documents charge Robert Maurice Anderson, 33, in connection to the April 19 fire. Fire investigators said crews were called to a home near East 12th and Poquito Streets around 1:10 a.m. April 19. When they arrived, they found a “heavily involved” 2010 Chevy sedan. The fire was extinguished, but not before causing approximately $10,000 in damage. The affidavit noted investigators were called due to two fires reported at the same address during the overnight hours of April 16-17, and witnesses reported seeing a man wearing a black hoodie and dark baggy pants watching the fire from across the street.
While investigators were working to determine the cause of the April 19 fire, the affidavit states they heard scanner traffic of a dumpster fire near 9th Street and Interstate 35. A man matching the description from the earlier fires – identified in the affidavit as Anderson – was seen at the scene of that fire, and investigators detained him.
The affidavit states Anderson declined to provide investigators with his whereabouts that evening, only that he was walking from his resident in East Austin to downtown. He also mentioned he had previously been arrested for arson, but did not provide details. Authorities released Anderson because they had no probable cause to arrest him.
Approximately four hours after the car fire was called in to AFD, crews were again dispatched to East 12th and Poquito Streets because another fire had been set by the sedan. The homeowner – who reset his home security camera settings after the 1 a.m. fire – told police they captured the person responsible on video. Investigators reviewed the video and determined the person to be Anderson based on the pattern on his hoodie.
Anderson was booked into the Travis County Jail around 2 p.m. April 19 on a felony arson charge. Jail records state his bond has been set at $25,000.
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