DeKALB - A DeKalb man reportedly told police he allegedly broke into an area gas station, set a vehicle on fire and then set fire to the rear outdoor deck of Hometown Sports Bar & Grill because of a “personal vendetta.”
According to DeKalb County court records, Robert A. Warren, 38, of the 700 block of Sycamore Road in DeKalb is charged with arson and burglary in the Friday incident. If convicted of either crime, he could face up to seven years in jail and fines up to $25,000.
Hometown Sports Bar & Grill owner Tom Schmidt said Tuesday he’s never met Warren or employed him.
DeKalb police arrested Warren on Friday in the 600 block of North Fourth Street and charged him with arson of an outside rear deck at Hometown Sports Bar & Grill downtown, DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said.
According to court records, police said that Warren admitted to using accelerants to set fire to a blue Toyota in the 100 block of Carroll Avenue, as well as the elevated balcony deck outside Hometown “due to a personal vendetta and without the consent of the owners.”
Warren appeared for a bond hearing over the weekend in front of a DeKalb County Judge, records show. He’s being held in DeKalb County Jail with a $50,000 bond and would need to post $5,000 to be released from jail. He also is ordered to remain on an electronic home-monitoring device if released.
DeKalb police used video surveillance from the area that they said corroborates Warren’s account, records state.
According to court records, DeKalb police were called to the area because of reports of a string of incidents involving burglary to a local business and multiple arsons.
Officers arrived to a BP gas station at 920 W. Lincoln Highway and saw evidence of forced entry and stolen merchandise, records state. Police also responded to the 100 block of Carroll Avenue, where they found a vehicle engulfed in flames. Upon arrival at Hometown Sports Bar & Grill at 241 E. Lincoln Highway downtown, police reported the deck was “significantly damaged and burned by fire,” records state.
Damages to both the Toyota and the deck are estimated at more than $150 each, according to records.
After he was arrested, Warren allegedly told police he had forced his way into the BP gas station and stolen items from the store. Police said he also admitted to setting fire intentionally to the deck and car.
The fire was called in about 6:30 a.m. Friday, DeKalb Fire Chief Jeff McMaster said, and was contained to the deck area on the outside of the local business. No injuries were reported.
McMaster said the business was closed at the time of the fire, and the damage was contained outdoors.
Schmidt said his doors remain open for business.
Warren is scheduled to appear for a status hearing on the charges at 8:45 a.m. Thursday in front of DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick.