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Ellettsville Man Arrested After Setting Fire To Day Care Center
Updated July 13, 2017 8:52 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(ELLETTSVILLE) - An Ellettsville man was arrested after he allegedly set fire to a day care center.

Ellettsville police arrested 37-year-old Jeremy A. Smith, of Martinsville, on charges of burglary and theft. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.

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Smith is the eldest son of Linda Jackson, the owner of Jack N Jill Childcare-Preschool.

According to police, the fire was reported at 3:52 a.m. on Friday.

When firefighters and police arrived to the scene, smoke was bellowing from the building.

The day care sustained major internal damage.

Police found that someone had broken the glass out of the door on the south side of the building to gain entry.

A video surveillance camera captured the break-in and allowed police to identify Smith as the suspect. The video shows Smith leaving with a safe and digital video recorder.

Later that day police obtained a search warrant and searched Smith's home and found the missing items. Detectives then arranged for a Morgan County officer to stop Smith's vehicle on State Road 37. After the traffic stop, Smith was arrested.

Police say they don't know why Smith started the fire at his mother's business, which she had owned for more than 20 years. But did say Smith had sent his mother threatening text messages the day before the fire. She did report the threats to Ellettsville police. She then left the day care center and stayed with another family member.

Jackson lives in the lower level of the day care.

Jack N Jill Childcare-Preschool serves about 40 children, from infants to 12-year-olds. Some of her staff are caring for children in their homes. Jackson has worked with other local day care providers to find places for other children in immediate need of child care.



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