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article imagePolice: Couple's security camera catches them committing arson

By Arthur Weinreb     Jan 30, 2016 in Crime
Mesa - It is far from unusual for criminals to be caught after police view security camera footage. In this case police allege a couple's own security system recorded them setting fire to the house next door.
On Wednesday, Michael Dietz, 36, and Sarah Saiz, 25, of Mesa, Arizona were arrested and charged with one count of arson. The couple is accused of setting fire to a neighbour's house after they had an altercation with that home's occupants.
The fire happened back on Sept. 5, 2015. According to police, the couple's dog had bitten the neighbour's young child who was playing in his front yard. The boy received a very minor bite but this led to an altercation that included several threats being made.
Almost three hours after the altercation, a fire broke out at the neighbour's home. No one was home at the time but there was extensive property damage. Investigators discovered the fire started in an alcove near the outside wall of the home and further investigation found accelerants had been used to start the fire.
Police determined Dietz and Saiz had a security camera system on the outside of their home. After the couple refused to surrender the video, police obtained a warrant and seized it.
The U.K. Daily Mail reports that, according to court documents released Friday, the video shows the couple taking papers and a liquid to their neighbour's home, going to the area where the fire originated. Saiz was also seen on camera with a bottle of lighter fluid concealed in her blouse.
The video also allegedly shows Dietz and Saiz back at their home watching the fire as Saiz did a little dance. The couple are then shown running back to the neighbour's home with a fire extinguisher after the fire spread. The documents also state they helped bystanders rescue the neighbour's dog they had previously set on fire.
Court documents also reveal an ATF dog reacted to accelerants on the pair when they were being questioned.
Tucson News Now interviewed Saiz in jail. She admits she was on the video but denied she and Dietz started the fire. She said they only went over after they heard someone yell "fire". Saiz also denied she had lighter fluid concealed in her blouse saying she was cleaning out their truck and she had a lot of items.
Dietz told ABC 15 he has no idea how the fire started and only went over to help.
Dietz was released on a $10,000 bond. As of Friday, Saiz remained in custody.
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