Bond was reduced last week for a man arrested in a series of arsons in February.
Jeremy J. Chelgren, 47, remains in custody at Mohave County Jail as of this week under $35,000 bond. The bond amount was reduced last Wednesday from its original $100,000, after Mohave Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle ruled that the original amount was excessive to secure Chelgren’s appearance at trial.
The decision came at a pre-trial conference in the case, where the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office entered a general denial of the accusations against their client.
The case began Feb. 8, when investigators were called to the Lake Havasu City Consolidated Courthouse, where multiple vehicles were found to be engulfed in flames. Shortly after officers arrived, a second fire was reported on the 2400 block of Clubhouse Drive, where several wooden pallets were allegedly set on fire. Five additional calls followed at residential homes that were under construction throughout the city, according to police.
On March 3, the Lake Havasu City Police Department released 11 reports in the investigation to Today’s News-Herald.
According to police, video surveillance footage from the Lake Havasu City Consolidated Courthouse showed a black four-door sedan used by the alleged perpetrator. A still image of the suspect’s vehicle was distributed among police that day. The report says that several officers soon recognized the vehicle from two separate incidents the previous day.
According to police, officers encountered Chelgren in the early morning hours of Feb. 7, when Chelgren was believed to be acting in a paranoid and argumentative manner while speaking with law enforcement. Police were called to a Simitan Drive address later that afternoon, where Chelgren reportedly rammed his vehicle into the back of his ex-girlfriend’s car before leaving the scene.
The incident on Simitan Drive was captured with doorbell camera footage at the scene, according to investigators. On Feb. 8, officers believed the same vehicle was used by the suspect in both the incident on Simitan Drive and the alleged arson at the Havasu’s courthouse. Police say the same vehicle was recorded on surveillance footage from a property neighboring another of the alleged arsons.
After the fires were reported, Chelgren allegedly sent a text message to his ex-girlfriend, in which he may have hinted at responsibility for the offenses. According to police, Chelgren asked his ex-girlfriend to meet him on Cherry Tree Boulevard, at the scene of another of the alleged arsons.
She agreed to meet him, the report said, but officers went to the location instead. According to police, Chelgren’s vehicle was found in the neighborhood, and officers attempted to stop him. Chelgren allegedly attempted to flee from officers for less than two miles, before he reached a dead end.
Chelgren was taken into custody at the scene, and police reported that the license plate on his vehicle was reported stolen from a vehicle parked at a Havasu business that week.
During an interview with detectives in the case, Chelgren allegedly made incomprehensible statements and behaved erratically. Chelgren denied setting any of the reported fires.