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Police: Schenectady's East Alley arsonist caught

Police: Schenectady's East Alley arsonist caught

18-year-old charged with 8 counts of arson
Police: Schenectady's East Alley arsonist caught
Schenectady firefighters Courtney Breslin and Lt. TJ Dercole extinguish a small debris fire in Center Alley in November.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY -- Schenectady police have charged 18-year-old Tyrell Andrew McCray with committing a series of arsons in the East Alley area. 

Police said McCray is responsible for at least seven fires set in the city on Nov. 26 and one fire set on Nov. 8. 

In November, residents of the upper Union Street neighborhood were rattled by a series of what police at that time described as small, nuisance-type fires set among rubbish, bags of leaves and personal belongings being stored in garages.

Most of the fires were set in the East, West and Center alleys, which run parallel to main thoroughfares in neighborhoods southwest of Schenectady High School.

The alleys serve as popular student thoroughfares. The tree-lined area also provides opportunities for firebugs through a combination of partially-hidden garages and trash cans awaiting pickup. 

McCray is charged with four counts of felony 3rd-degree arson and four counts of misdemeanor arson.

State sentencing guidelines say a conviction of 3rd-degree arson carries a sentence of 1 to 15 years in state prison.

Police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said he couldn't confirm whether McCray is a student at Schenectady High School  because he didn't have the investigation reports Saturday. He said McCray was arrested following an investigation by the Schenectady Arson Task Force, which is made up of the Schenectady Police Department, the Schenectady Fire Department, the District Attorney's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Dearing said McCray was expected to be arraigned in Schenectady City Court.


 

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