Police Arrest Arson Suspect

Posted on 07/04/2020 at 06:57 AM
Kerry Yamaguchi

Boulder police officers arrested a fifty-three-year-old male for investigation of multiple counts of arson. Today, July 3, Boulder Police and Boulder Fire and Rescue responded to four fires in the downtown area that may have been intentionally set. Though no people were injured in the fires, there was substantial property damage done at two of them. While police have good evidence against the suspect, investigators are seeking the public's assistance with additional information regarding the fires.

The arrestee is Troy Lee Schneider, born August 23, 1966. Mr. Schneider is a person experiencing homelessness in the Boulder area. Mr. Schneider was arrested for investigation of First Degree Arson (three counts), Second Degree Arson (two counts), Second Degree Burglary (two counts) and Criminal Attempt – Second Degree Burglary.

At 12:12 pm, police officers and firefighters responded to a smoldering dumpster at 15th and Pearl Streets. The case number is 20-6195.

At 2:23 pm, police and fire responded to the 800 block of Pearl Street to a report of a mechanical room that was on fire. The fire department extinguished the flames quickly, however a significant amount of damage was sustained to the building and its equipment. The case number is 20-6193.

At 3:43 pm, police and fire were sent to a shed at the 1300 block of Arapahoe Avenue on a report of smoke coming from the outbuilding. Again, the fire department extinguished the fire quickly. The case number is 20-6187.

Finally, at 5:00 pm, the police and fire departments responded to the 1000 block of Lawry Lane on a report of dumpsters on fire. As with the other fires, the fire department quickly extinguished the flames. The case number is 20-6190.

Surveillance video from one of the fires scenes showed the suspect was wearing a T-shirt with cutoff sleeves that has distinctive logos on the front and back. The male was wearing dark cargo shorts and untied, ankle-high shoes. The suspect’s his hair was in a ponytail and he had tattoo sleeves on both arms.

Also, on July 3, police investigated an attempted residential burglary in the 300 block of Arapahoe Avenue. The resident provided video surveillance of the suspect who tried to enter the house. The suspect in the video matched the earlier footage from one of the fire scenes.

At 6:53 pm, Boulder officers observed Mr. Schneider walking in the University Hill neighborhood. He was wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the video footage. Officers stopped Mr. Schneider and placed him into custody after he made some incriminating statements.

Boulder detectives interviewed Mr. Schneider, who confessed to setting today’s fires and attempted burglary. In addition, Mr. Schneider confessed to committing an arson on June 28, 2020 in the 900 block of Walnut Street. The case number is 20-6016.

Anyone who may have information about this case should call Detective Steve Faber (FaberS@BoulderColorado.gov) or Detective Cary Lutz (LutzC@BoulderColorado.gov) at 303-441-3333. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.

All charges are simply an accusation by law enforcement officers, and any arrested party must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.