Police: Iron County burglary and nearby house fire believed to be connected

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News/Cedar City News

IRON COUNTY — A man is in jail on suspicion of burglary after police say he was found taking items from a residence in Iron County and subsequently taken into custody via citizen’s arrest Saturday. A short while later, a house fire was reported across the street, and police believe the incidents are connected.

Michael Lamoyne Cross, 49, of Cedar City, bookings photo posted April 14, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Michael Lamoyne Cross, 49, of Cedar City, was arrested by Iron County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday afternoon and booked into jail on charges of theft and burglary. He was also charged with first-degree felony arson hours later.

Deputies responded to the initial report of burglary at a residence near Tipple Road in Schurtz Canyon two miles south of Cedar City at approximately 11:35 a.m.

The residents of the house located a man, later identified as Cross, in their backyard removing items from a shed, according to a news release issued by Iron County Sheriff’s Office. The residents performed a citizen’s arrest and took Cross into custody without incident. Cross was then turned over to deputies.

About half an hour later, a structure fire was reported at the house directly across the street from the home at which Cross was detained, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The aftermath of a house fire near Tipple Road in Iron County, Utah, April 14, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Upon arrival, deputies found the house completely engulfed in flames. The house was vacant at the time of the fire.

Cedar City Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire.

“It is believed at this time that these two events are related,” the Sheriff’s Office stated. “The circumstances surrounding the fire are currently under investigation.”

Police have not released any additional information about how the incidents are connected at the time of this report.

This is a developing story.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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