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Thursday April 5th, 2012

Posted at 2:38pm

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Windsor Police report this afternoon that an investigation into two deliberately set fires on Windsor’s east side last weekend has resulted in numerous charges against a common law husband and wife.

On Friday, March 31st, 2012 at 10:15pm, Windsor Police Officers responded to a house at 853 Pillette Road for a report of a working fire. Officers arrived on scene to find Windsor Fire and Rescue personnel battling a fire located in the detached garage on the property. The garage sustained heavy damage as a result. An examination of the duplex revealed that the structure appeared to be vacant, however the pedestrian doors to both the lower and upper levels had been forced open. Officers searching the building located numerous gas containers and flares littered throughout both levels. Officers and Fire personnel also observed that gasoline had been poured throughout both levels of the structure however, the accelerant had failed to ignite due to the high concentration level of gasoline inside the building.

The owner of the vacant duplex was summoned to the scene and after the building had been ventilated, the building was secured pending further investigation.

At 7:15am on Sunday, April 1st, 2012, Windsor Fire and Police responded to the same property at 853 Pillette Road for a second fire. Officers arrived to find the upper unit of the duplex fully engulfed in flames. Fire personnel extinguished the blaze however the upper unit sustained heavy damage. The investigation revealed that the plywood used to secure the unit the day before had been removed allowing access to the second level.

WPS Detectives investigating the arsons contacted the former tenants of the building who are now residing in the 300 block of Hall Avenue. At this time, they learned that the 34 year old male, his 36 year old common law wife along with their 10 year old son had been evicted by the owner of 853 Pillette Road one week prior to the fires and had subsequently moved to the Hall Avenue address.

Investigators also learned that on March 19th, 2012, the common law couple had purchased a quantity of furniture from a Furniture Rental business located in the 3700 block of Tecumseh Road East by using false identities. This furniture was delivered to 853 Pillette Road on March 20th, 2012 by store employees. The investigation revealed that upon delivery to the Pillette Road address, the furniture was immediately transported to the Hall Avenue address by the common law couple. Furniture store employees became suspicious and several days after delivering the furniture to 853 Pillette Road, they attended the property to find the home vacant and the furniture missing. Police were contacted at this time.

As a result of the fraud investigation, both the common law husband and wife were arrested and charged with Fraud under $5000.

Further investigation into the arsons revealed information that the husband had purchased several gas containers and flares from an east end big box store. Detectives attended the store and obtained surveillance video depicting the common law husband purchasing gas containers and flares from the store on March 30th, 2012 – approximately six hours prior to the fire at 853 Pillette Road. The containers and flares captured on the surveillance video were the same brand found at the arson scene at 853 Pillette. As a result, the husband was also arrested and charged in relation to the arsons.

On April 3rd, 2012, investigators executed a search warrant at 352 Hall Avenue and recovered all the furniture that was acquired fraudulently from the Furniture Rental business.

Colleen Reardon, 36 years old of Windsor is charged with Fraud Not Exceeding $5000. She was released from custody on an Appearance Notice.

Jean Paul Blanchette (aka Ouimet), 34 years old of Windsor is facing a number of charges including Fraud Not Exceeding $5000, Obtain Credit By False Pretence, three counts of Arson and Possession of Incendiary Material For Arson. He was remanded into custody.

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