HABERSHAM CO. SHERIFF’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE:
“The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office and state fire investigators are continuing their probe of a Saturday morning incident in the Fairview community.
Dispatched at 11:04 a.m., Habersham County Emergency Services Engine 16, Med 16, Engine 13, Battalion 1, and PIO responded to a reported vehicle fire at 562 Sutton Road, Demorest.
The vehicle fire at a detached shop on the property was quickly brought under control and extinguished, but not before it destroyed a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
After determining the incident involved an incendiary fire, Habersham County Sheriff’s Office deputies secured the scene and moved all personnel off the property.
An investigator from Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King’s Fire Investigations Unit handled the fire, while deputies probed the burglary.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is out here doing their investigation,” said Habersham County Sheriff’s Investigator George Cason at the scene. “They’re actually going to be taking the charges of arson in the second degree for the burning of the truck, which actually inevitably entailed where the suspect ended up coming up here in a box truck, caused the damage to the truck after doing all his nefarious crimes here.”
The male in the rented Penske box truck ultimately left the scene at a high rate of speed, according to witnesses.
Cason said the incident on Sutton Road was only the beginning.
“He ended up speeding out of the driveway headed toward [Ga.] 115, which he ended up entering White County and initiated a chase with the White County Sheriff’s Office that subsequently ended in him being apprehended,” Cason said. “Information as far as White County will be released by White County Sheriff’s Office.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE LINK TO EARLIER STORY BELOW.)
In addition to the burglary charge, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office also is charging 53-year-old Alan Paul Heinze with unsecured load “because as the suspect was leaving the area, he ended up dumping about half of his load down on the side of the road.”
(Photo courtesy Habersham Co. PIO Rob Moore)