Madison County Man Charged with Burglary, Arson

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PRESS RELEASE – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced today that James Tarpkins, 66, of Madison County, has been charged with burglary and arson.

On June 2, investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to a fire loss on Minish Road at the request of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of the fire, the property owner had not resided in the dwelling for more than a year.  The residence was completely destroyed as a result of the incident.

“After speaking with witnesses, investigators learned that Mr. Tarpkins was seen lurking around the home for several days prior to the fire,” said Commissioner King. “Multiple articles of jewelry and a personal sword collection were reported stolen by a visiting family friend on the day of the incident, who also saw the suspect near the property. Additionally, responding firefighters spotted Mr. Tarpkins’ ATV in the nearby woods, which suspiciously disappeared during the blaze.”

In conjunction with information from the Madison County Fire Department and the property owner, Mr. Tarpkins was identified as the primary suspect. Mr. Tarpkins was taken into custody by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office on June 11.

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