Insurance group targeting Detroit arsons

Oct. 14, 2009 at 12:14 PM

DETROIT, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A coalition of insurance companies says it will spend $1 million on a program to fight arson in Detroit and the rest of Wayne County.

The Detroit News reported Wednesday the Michigan Insurance Fraud Awareness Coalition's two-year pilot program comes as 50 percent of all fires in the Michigan county are deemed arson of suspicious.

In Detroit, the seat of Wayne County, a total of 11 deliberately set fires were reported Sunday alone, all within 90 minutes and on six east side streets.

Coalition spokeswoman Lori Conarton said nearly $140,000 has been raised since September for the program, which will include the use of two private investigators and an assistant prosecutor.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy applauded the coalition's plan, saying county authorities are ill-prepared to focus on fighting arson.

"People can come into Wayne County and have a pretty good chance of getting away with it," Worthy said Tuesday. "That is what we want to stop."

The News said the coalition's program is to begin Jan. 1.

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