The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

July 23, 2013

Rural Neosho man jailed on charges in van theft, fire

NEOSHO, Mo. — A 26-year-old man has been jailed on charges that he stole a van belonging to the East Newton School District and set it ablaze beneath a railroad bridge, causing extensive fire damage to a trestle of the bridge.

William L. Bradley, of rural Neosho, remained in custody Tuesday at the Newton County Jail with his bond set at $5,000. He is charged with felony counts of stealing a motor vehicle and knowingly burning or exploding.

Chief Deputy Chris Jennings of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department said a fire was reported at 6:38 a.m. Sunday at a railroad crossing of Shoal Creek off Old Ritchey Road west of Raccoon Road.

The Granby Fire Department responded to the fire, which damaged a trestle of the bridge owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and forced the railroad to shut down the tracks until the bridge can be inspected. Jennings said the fire destroyed a Dodge van that was determined to have been stolen from the East Newton School District. An investigation led to the arrest of Bradley.

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