Pierce County prosecutors this week charged an 18-year-old Tacoma man with first-degree arson and residential burglary for allegedly stealing items from a neighbor's house then setting the place on fire to cover up the crime.
Cadence Ray Rainbolt pleaded not guilty Monday and was ordered jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.
The burglary and arson allegedly occurred Wednesday at a house in the 3800 block of South Wilkeson.
According to charging documents, the resident of the house went to the store, leaving his back door open so his dog could come and go as it pleased. He returned home to find firefighters working to extinguish flames damaging his house.
The man later told police a drill, box of bullets and belt buckle were missing.
A man who lives nearby told investigators he suspected his son might have been involved. Police spoke to the man's girlfriend, who told them Rainbolt on Wednesday admitted to her he'd burgled the neighbor's house - taking a drill, bullets, belt buckle and marijuana plants - and set the place ablaze, court records show.
"The girlfriend noted the fire department showed up shortly after this to put out the fire at the neighbor's home," the records state.
Investigators then talked to Rainbolt, who denied wrongdoing even though they found a cordless drill and box of bullets in his room, records show. Police also discovered marijuana plants in the crawl space under Rainbolt's father's house.