Suspect arrested for burglary, attempted arson of neighboring apartment

February 20, 2019

POCATELLO -- A 23-year-old Pocatello man was arrested early Tuesday for allegedly burglarizing a neighboring apartment and lighting a fire inside of it, police said.

Pocatello police have charged Thomas Edward Negus, of 1070 McKinley Ave., with felony counts of burglary and first-degree arson.

Lt. Eric Anderson said the victims were in the process of moving into the neighboring apartment and were not occupying it when the alleged crimes occurred between Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. Anderson said the victims reported the burglary to police at 8 p.m. Feb. 18, after finding two video game consoles and a laptop computer were missing.

Anderson said they also discovered some valuable books that had been set on fire and fire extinguisher foam on their carpet, with footprints tracked through it.

Anderson said police matched the prints to Negus’ shoes. Anderson said Negus allegedly broke into the apartment through a window. Negus was intoxicated when police arrested him at 2:23 a.m., Anderson said.

Negus reportedly told police that he “jumped through the window to see what was in there” and lit some paper inside on fire using his own lighter.

“He said he accidentally dropped more paper on the fire,” Anderson said. “When it got big, he made the decision to go out in the hallway to get a fire extinguisher.”

Anderson said a smoke alarm started sounding, and Negus admitted to removing it when he couldn’t shut it off and dunking it in the toilet.