Man charged in series of Royal Oak arsons
Royal Oak — A Troy man has been charged in connection with a series of intentionally set fires — mostly in vehicles — that goes back four years, police said.
Thomas Manes, 30, and formerly of Royal Oak, was arraigned Friday in 44th District Court on multiple charges related to suspicious fires dating back to 2015, according to officials.
Authorities accuse Manes of setting fires to three vehicles in Royal Oak in November 2015 and two more in December 2015. During that time, InStyle Cabinets, located at 4300 Rochester Road, was also severely damaged by fire and investigators discovered evidence it was related to an early morning break-in where a firearm and electronics were taken. A family sleeping in an attached business next to the fire escaped without injury.
Investigators also believe he was behind similar vehicle fires last summer. Police identified a person of interest, but a lack of evidence hampered efforts to obtain charges, officials said.
Police estimate there have been 13 intentionally-set fires since November 2015.
On Sunday, police and firefighters at about 4:46 a.m. responded to a fire in a shed and garage behind a home in the 700 block of Whitcomb. Firefighters put out the blaze, but it destroyed the small shed and caused significant damage to the garage, officials said.
Two days later, police identified Manes as a suspect in the case and arrested him at his Troy apartment.
“We are extremely pleased to finally bring this crime spree to an end," Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a statement. "The midnight shift officers and investigators put countless hours into finding the person responsible. The police department utilized cutting edge technology to investigate this case, but in the end, it was solved with good old fashion police work."