East Lansing Police: You Will Pay For Couch Fires - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

East Lansing Police: You Will Pay For Couch Fires

East Lansing police and the city attorney have issued three tickets and will be issuing a search warrant tomorrow for a four person they believe are connected to a series of 12-fires that happened over the weekend.

The blazes were in response to Michigan State's loss to Duke, in the NCAA tournament Friday night.

East Lansing police believe the four people in question could be responsible for three of those fires.       

And if convicted, they could face up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Our Nick Perreault spoke with East Lansing police who say the appeal of this dangerous, costly activity is something they plan to extinguish once and for all.

It's something that East Lansing has seen all to often in recent years.

"This is almost a tradition, a bad tradition," said East Lansing City Attorney Tom Yeadon.

A tradition to set furniture on fire and watch the blaze following a big athletic events.

But East Lansing city attorney Tom Yeadon says he will continue to issue the maximum penalty he can for those who think it's just something fun to do.

"We stop it through police enforcement and prosecution," Yeadon said.

Enforcement that Captain Jeff  Murphy says they've been doing.

"This is a serious issue fires are dangerous, they cause property damage, they could potentially harm to somebody,
It is a drain on our resources, we pay a lot of overtime to staff these nights," Captain Murphy said.

"Captain Murphy says the department can't change the cost of fees, so they will increase the number of plain clothes officers during large events.

And Murphy believes it's because of those extra patrols over the weekend, that East Lansing police were able to catch four people in the act.

So if this is your idea of fun, Captain Murphy says you won't be laughing long when you see the penalties.

"If you choose to behave like this in East Lansing, we will do everything we can to find you, arrest you and prosecute you."

And that's to make an example of you, so that others aren't tempted to continue  a dangerous tradition.

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