District Attorney Matthew Mangino has launched an awareness campaign to end arson in Lawrence County (Pennsylvania). As part of the program, Mangino has instituted a tip line, (724) 944-5164, where citizens can call to anonymously report information regarding suspicious fires.
According to Mangino, a recent study indicates that up to 60 percent of local fires were labeled as arson. Nationwide, arsons account for 267,000 fires each year, which cause $1.4 billion in property loss and approximately 500 deaths annually. In 2004 alone, more than 600 individuals in Pennsylvania have been arrested for this violent crime.
“Private citizens are key to solving arson crimes,” said Mangino. In a public service announcement that has been airing throughout the month of January, Mangino asks county residents to help “snuff out arson-for-profit in Lawrence County.”
“If you’re aware of arson or other suspicious activities,” said Mangino, “call (724) 944-5164 anonymously 24-hours a day without fear of reprisal.” The campaign includes posters that were distributed through local police and fire departments and were to be utilized to obtain information at the location of all suspicious fires.
The District Attorney’s Arson Investigation Team was formed in August 2002. It is a network of local law enforcement officers who work with the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal to investigate arson cases within the county. The Arson Investigation Team and awareness campaign are made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority.
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