Teen arrested after spate of vehicle arsons in Manchester
Robert Conroy, 17, of 50 Cranwell Dr., was arraigned Friday in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division on 10 counts of felony theft of motor vehicles and five counts of arson. Bail was set at $15,000 cash/surety, with conditions that include no contact with the vehicle owners, including the commercial owners.
Police and fire investigators say the GPS system in a stolen Water Works truck, one of two trucks found torched Sept. 4 in the west side area known as Black Acres, provided key information that ultimately led to the arrest of Conroy. The GPS track was matched with video surveillance at several locations.
After meeting with city Deputy Fire Marshal Mitchell Cady, police said investigators connected 13 other cases to the stolen and torched Water Works vehicle and, ultimately, to Conroy.
Investigators were able to determine that while a number of the thefts occurred in the general area where Conroy lives, the vehicles were disposed of in a variety of locations including Black Acres, Pine Island Park, Stevens Pond and Bypass 28/Rattlesnake Road, as well as on city streets.
Information gathered indicated Conroy and others involved would drive around the city in the stolen vehicles, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and binging on pills.
O'Keefe said the investigation is still active and additional arrests are expected. Because Conroy could enter no plea to a felony in Circuit Court, a probable cause hearing date was set for Nov. 26. There will also be a status hearing that day on a loitering/prowling charge from Sept. 15 on Agnes Street, for which he failed to appear in court last month.