Bend RV fire deemed arson, arrest made

Lee Helms, March 30, 2014. (KOIN)
Lee Helms, March 30, 2014. (KOIN)

BEND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was arrested Sunday for intentionally setting an RV on fire in order to break in to nearby vehicles in Bend.

Police said they found an RV fully engulfed in flames and threatening surrounding structures on Saturday at 2478 NE Lynda Lane.

The fire forced occupants of three homes to evacuate after the flames spread to a ski boat and the garage of the residence. Both the RV and boat were a complete loss.

During the course of the investigation, officers said they discovered that vehicles within the neighborhood and been broken into during the time frame of the fire, indicating the fire was likely caused by arson.

Police said they arrested Lee Helms, 24, on Sunday after an observant neighbor reported seeing him run back to his home just after the fire. Officers subsequently arrested him or a warrant out of Deschutes County and were later able to connect him to the fire and robberies after they served a search warrant at his home and obtained evidence linking him to the incidents in addition to a small amount of methamphetamine.

Authorities said Helm is being held at the Deschutes County Jail, facing multiple charges.

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