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Phoenix man accused of setting 3 fires this month

PHOENIX -- A 20-year-old Phoenix man accused of setting three separate fires this month is in custody.

Phoenix police say James Vernell Zanes is being held on suspicion of arson of an occupied structure, burglary and theft.

He was arrested Sunday after surveillance footage showed him using a sledgehammer to break into a discount store.

Police say Zanes allegedly stole nearly 100 lighters from the store and then lit a fire on cardboard stacked outside the building.

The Arizona Republic reports Zanes was caught after he exited the store through the back door and the sledgehammer was found in his possession.

Zanes allegedly also admitted to setting a June 1 fire at a Phoenix apartment complex and lighting a vehicle on fire last Saturday.

The three fires caused about $250,000 in damages.

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